28 Jan 2013

Update Joe Valesko Te Araroa Hike

Just heard from Joe - He and Sheryl are at Hamner Springs today doing a resupply before attacking Harpers Pass. I guess next update will come in a week when they arrive at Arthur's Pass.

When Sheryl was pulling out (now continuing) Joe had an Olive Hexamid Solo tent w/ beak, and a Regular width, Long Length, -7C sleeping bag shipped to me for him to continue solo. If you live in NZ and want either of these great items call or email me (0274 500 552 rob@assess.co.nz). A great opportunity to save on freight and GST.

23 Jan 2013

Up Date on Joe's Te Aroroa Hike

Great news - Joe is now in St Arnaud (Nelson Lakes).

Sheryl has decided to stay on. I knew the South Island would capture her (and Joe's) heart.

They leave tomorrow for the push south through the Nelson Lakes and Lewis Pass. Some of the worlds best vista.

I will be in the lower Richmond Range with my hiking buddy, Lee in a couple of weeks, so I look forward to seeing their comments in the hut books.

Now what to do with the solo tent and sleeping bag Joe had shipped out from his workshop? May be I can make a bob on the side here :-)  

15 Jan 2013

News of Joe from Zpacks on Te Aroroa Trail

Joe just emailed to say Sheryl (his wife) has decided to go home. After a sterling effort of walking NZ's North Island she's had enough. What a pity as the best is yet to come. Joe will continue alone and Matt is sending new solo tent and bag. 

More Fiordland Photos

Hi - One of my tramping party (Marg Law) sent me her photos of our Xmas trip - Great shots that I thought you'd like to see.


13 Jan 2013

Zpacks Arc Blast and Rain Gear

Here are a few shots of the Zpacks Arc Blast in action on our recent Fiordland Coastal trip. Also pictures of Kathy and I in Cuban Fiber rain jackets and yours truly in custom made Cuban shorts by Joe at Zpacks. The miserable look on my face on the 4th photo explains the typical Fiordland weather - Wet!
3 little Zpacks all in a row...
Rob with Arc Blast. Note track markings - Fishing buoys!

The Gorge River in a very tame mood

Rob in Cuban rain wear - Note shorts Joe adapted for me

Ian crosses stream - Arc Blast

Kathy on Burma Bridge in Cuben Rain coat

8 Jan 2013

Fiordland Gear Check

I am just back from 8 day in NZs lower South Island - Fiordland. We did the Coastal Route from Mathyrs Homestead to Gunns Camp via the Hollyford River. We had good weather the first and last two days, but inbetween the heaviest rain the area has seen in two years!

We managed to get across the major rivers (Cascade, Gorge, Hackett and McKanzie) before flooded. However our second party got blocked at the Pyke River and had to retrace their steps (5 days - yuck).

My Zpacks raincoat performed wonderfully. I also had a chance to test my new rain shorts Joe made. I wore these over my undies (as shorts) on the days the rain was bucketing down. They worked well. However the waist bungy cord is too light. I will replace with heavier cord.

My Zpacks Arc Blast pack also performed well. Coupled with the cuben inner linner I had no water issues. However, the side hip pockets are not fully waterproof. Granted, we had unusually heavy rain. I found small pools of water in the pockets at the end of the day. Luckily I had my camera in a zip lock bag. I will suggest to Joe to put a small drain hole in the middle bottom of eack pocket. I am getting my "seamstress" daughter to do this.

Go to Trips page to see link for photos.