Adventure Guide Intern Update - Technical Training & Road Trips!

The latest update from Kaylee Pickett, one of our adventure guide interns based in Queenstown:

October brought loads of training and hands-on learning.

We started with what remains one of the most fun days of the course, river crossing! Dressed in full-body wetsuits with waterproofed packs strapped to our backs, we learned how to cross fast moving water as pairs and as a full team, as well as how to swim on our stomachs and backs using our packs for floatation. The skills we gained helped us several times later in the course each time a river blocked our path, although there was one cheeky incident with a pack thrown directly into the water (whoops).

 To continue practicing the navigation techniques we learned in the classroom in the first weeks, we popped over to Arrowtown to do some on and off track trekking on Big Hill. This marked the start of our first Trekking Module. Starting with shorter navigation legs on track focused on timing and pacing, we honed our map reading skills and pushed off track along formidable ridgelines to the summit high above the Wakatipu Basin. Thighs and glutes burning with each step up steep spur lines, we gained excellent awareness of contour line reading, safety with groups along difficult terrain, and further developed our abilities to identify features around us.

The next two days included much of the same, with a hike in Skippers Canyon that developed into injury management with groups in off-track settings due to a sore ankle and a day spent in the rainy but stunning Mount Aspiring National Park up to the Rob Roy Glacier. 

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After a day’s rest and lots of packing, the crew set off for an epic roadie around the South Island for some serious climbing, a bit of trekking, lots of stunning views, and unforgettable times as a team.

Avoiding some nasty weather up North, we started in Dunedin at Long Beach, the perfect beach bum climbing area. Barefoot belays in the sand assisted some awesome climbs with views of crashing waves and hippies meandering to a cave party happening later that evening. It was the perfect start to what would be our favorite two weeks of the program.

Our main destination was the sunny and beautiful Golden Bay, near Nelson on the north part of the South Island, but we took our time getting up there. We stopped along the way at the Moeraki Boulders for a bit of a geek out on bizarre geology and for some climbing at Elephant Rocks. 413 km north to Hamner Springs after lots of singing and sleeping in our beloved van, Buppy, we stopped for a delicious dinner of our lead instructor’s favorite meal, Dal Bhat, a quick half day hike, and the best chill out at the local hot springs. 

 

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Finally arriving in Nelson after seeing some of the greatest parts of the East coast, we spent an incredible day waka paddling on the coast of the Abel Tasman. Guided by the power couple of the century and their two young daughters, we got to experience true waka paddling and Maori culture in the most beautiful environment. This special day remains as many of the crew’s favorite.

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We spent the majority of our time up north in Golden Bay, a climber’s absolute paradise. Perfect sunny weather, some of the best climbs in New Zealand, and a chilled out hippie vibe…what more can you ask for?

We trained and climbed almost every day, building upon the skills we developed in Wanaka and gaining new ones, from single pitch top rope rescue to commercial abseil set ups and lots and lots of lead climbing. After long days on the rock, the crew ran down to the beach for a quick swim in the chilly water before relaxing at an amazing beach bach. It was over this week together at the beach that the team really came together, learning to balance lots of fun with some studying and a touch of group management and cooking.

 blog oct 5

We had one day off in the middle of the week, and after a planning session at a Department of Conservation office checking out the mountains in the area, we headed to the famous Mussel Inn for a couple of pints and then to Wharariki Beach. Covered in thousands of tiny blue jellyfish and pumping with wind, the beach felt like another planet.

 blog oct 6

Remembering the course includes trekking, we packed up our backpacks and headed up to the Cobb Valley for a big overnight. 30 km and nearly 2000 m of elevation over two days brought us from jungle to sub-alpine and to our first night in a hut. We got quite lucky and saw a kaka on the first day, one of New Zealand’s native endangered parrots. The second day brought winds over 100 kph on an exposed ridgeline (it’s more fun than it sounds) and lots of cheesy jokes on the final push to the finish.

Stops along the way to the pancake rocks in Punakaiki, the Fox Glacier, and the Haast Pass brought us nearly 900 km back down to Queenstown, hearts happy, feet sore, and fingers callused. 

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If you are keen to learn more about our Adventure Guide Internship, pop in your details below and we will fire you through the full itinerary!


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13th February 2019

Nor'west skies are red, Guide ropes are blue, Coffee brewed over campfire black Means a great day ahead its true... Happy V day team, hope its filled with things that put a smile on your dial! 🥰

11th February 2019

The next great crew of explorers hit the kiwi shores and begin their adventures. Welcome team! 🤴👸

10th February 2019

Sunday lake hangs to combat the steamy NZ summer

9th February 2019

Some of the cute locals you'll meet when on our Adventure Guide Program in Patagonia! Find out more about this program here.. https://bit.ly/2DlIb8i

7th February 2019

When you think of New Zealand, do you think of spectacular mile high mountains with cascading waterfalls, deep ancient rainforests filled with stunning native birdsong and wild deer? You're right, you know. We go here on our NZ Adventure Guide Program. It's pretty rad, to say the least.

7th February 2019

Yesterday was our national holiday in New Zealand, called Waitangi Day. Goes without saying that the AGP crew spent the day doing typical kiwi things, like doing bombs off bridges into the river and eating fish and chips. Chur bro.

6th February 2019

Rocking their way through the weekend in beautiful Wanaka, the AGP crew are getting into their first climbing module! @ Wanaka, New Zealand

4th February 2019

Navigation 101, which way is north, team?

31st January 2019

Lads on tour...

29th January 2019

If there was an emergency near you, would you actually be able to help? We get feedback from participants every program that they felt our Pre-hospital Emergency Care qualification (PHEC) was a super constructive and valuable part of their time with us - not only for those looking to feel prepared for outdoor careers, but for gaining confidence in First Aid to a strong level for everyday life. Ken, our current ambassador, takes us through the group's experience of PHEC here...https://bit.ly/2RiYnfA

28th January 2019

Essential hiking training begins, exploring our local back yard. What does your classroom look like?

28th January 2019

The staff and program alumni talk us through their reasons for making Pure Ex part of their journey.

25th January 2019

What are you up to this June? Come join the crew in New Zealand and experience the golden sand beaches and rugged mountains of the Nelson region! Find out more here..https://bit.ly/2FVYH1L

24th January 2019

Touchdown in New Zealand for the January intake of the Adventure Guide Program and so far, so amazing!

18th January 2019

Adventure Guide Program team bonding underway. So cool seeing people at the start of a 12 week journey, knowing so much awesomeness awaits them!

18th January 2019

We are very excited and proud to be annouced as one of the top 3 overall gap year providers for the 2018 @gooverseas Community Choice Awards! We work in an industry of amazing organisations that all work hard to provide young people with life changing experiences, so to be given a nod as one of the most exciting is really amazing for us. Thanks to you all! 🙏

18th January 2019

Dang, what an exceptionally attractive bunch of humans. Huge welcome to the new crew who have touched down in Queenstown for the summer edition of the Adventure Guide Program. Bring on the good times team!

13th January 2019

What are the 10 Best Gap Year destinations for 2019? Go Overseas give the low down on the new hotspots that need to be on your bucket list! https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/best-places-gap-year

12th January 2019

The pics don't lie, grins for days on the Pure Ex AGP!

10th January 2019

Want to know where in the world you could travel with Pure Exploration? Click here to see! https://bit.ly/2Faqhsm

7th January 2019

Yeaaaaah team 💪

6th January 2019

Whilst in Patagonia on our Adventure Guide Program, as well as hiking, climbing and sea kayaking, you'll also get the chance to experience rural Patagonian life, with a farm-stay at a working cattle ranch. South American Gauchos (the equivalent to US cowboys) are expert stock herders that move their cattle on horseback, and are animal experts and local legends. You’ll love this authentic mountain experience with locals! Find out more here https://bit.ly/2R9skDA

31st December 2018

Happy New Year!! What are you going to do this year that really excites you? It's time to push the boat out people!

28th December 2018

One of the highlights of the Adventure Guide Program is the week based in the legendary NZ adventure region, Mt Cook. Home of the highest mountain in the country, this area is synonomous with rock and ice climbing, hiking, mountaineering, ski touring and general outdoor bad-assness. Not for the faint-hearted, you need solid training and systems in place to explore this area, which is subject to strong winds, sub-zero temperatures, avalanches and rockfall. For those who have the right skills however, this place is adventure nirvana! Check out Ken's update on their time at Mt Cook here...https://bit.ly/2GBiR3d

24th December 2018

In New Zealand, Christmas and New Year's is all about Summer BBQ's, long afternoons by the lake or sea drinking cold beers and eating fresh seafood. It's roots reggae music, campfires, good friends and loads of laughs. Whatever Christmas looks like in your family, we hope its a good one ✨