Better late than never I guess…..

After a whole summer of living in Nelson and hanging around with a bunch of climbers, I finally made it out to Golden Bay with the intentions climbing! Pretty shocking never to have climbed on proper rock considering I spent the first few months going to the wall here once a week and living just over an hour away from some of New Zealands finest routes. I had a couple Scottish friends coming up from Wanaka and another coming across from Wellington. I know it sounds very narrow minded and please don’t judge me for saying this but once in a while it is so so good to hang out with a group of people from the same country. Don’t get me wrong I have met some fantastic people during my time in New Zealand, from all over the world but its just different. Even between folk from England and Scotland there is definitely a little bit of a difference in senses of humor, although maybe its just in-jokes about Haggis and Irn Bru!

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Tom and Sophie, Perfect photo by Leanne

After a wine induced slightly later start to schedule, we headed off for Hang Dog which is a camp ground right by the main climbing craggs just outside of Takaka. There were a few rain showers on the way and once we arrived we quickly figured that most of the usual craggs were too wet for any climbing. After  a quick spot of lunch and some pretty darn good coffee, Leanne assured us that there was somewhere else not so far away that would be nice and dry!

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Slack line walk off! Photo by Tom Russel

It was off through the hippie mecca that is Takaka  (for some very very odd reason there didn’t seam to be anyone trying to hitch hike) and through to Seagrass Wall and Little Bo Peep. Good mix of routes for all abilities there and its spectacularly located right by the sea. After you have climbed a few meters up the rock you treated to spectacular views right across Golden Bay! We stayed climbing at Seagrass for first hour or so as thats were most the easier route were which was fine by me. Despite a good mocking about my ‘mortons toe’ (told you it was a real thing Tom) and getting farted on from above, I eventually made it up my first pitch. Stoked!!! Only a 17, but not to bad for first time on rock and climbing in months! Although next time I promis to be less of a girl and climb something proper! We eventually moved round to a massive over hanging section called Little Bo Peep. Tom and Leanne were about to show us how it was done proper. Once you start looking past the ‘its just climbing’ thing and watch what a good climber actually does its pretty impressive.

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Sophie leading up a route. Normally pretty competitive with her at most things but not a chance at climbing!

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Little Bo Peep, Doesn’t really show just how over hanging this is but its pretty nuts!

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Tom belaying

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Tom clipping into the chains one handed. Big drop and swing into the rocks if you slip from here!

Ended up staying there until it was dark and were treated to a fantastic sunset climbing session. I am really gutted that this was my first time climbing on rock up here all summer, especially as I leave in 3 days. Quite gutting….

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Golden Bay Sunset

Few other photos I may aswel post so people get to see them from last few weeks. Had some pretty shocking weather recently which resulted in very few tramping trips but also some pretty serious flooding in parts of Nelson. Managed to get out take a few photos of Nik out practicing for the some enduro races though. After coming 3rd in his last race think he’s pretty keen for a taste of the top spot.


Nik Elson hauling in the woods above the brook somewhere….


Can’t beat a good skid! As soon as they stop being fun think I’l quite biking.


Sniper shot.

Also managed to go up Mt Starveall maybe a month ago. Just a short over night trip from Nelson nice to have access to places like this just a 10 minute drive out of town.

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The summit looking out towards Mt Arthur

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Ally training for his next fell running quest!

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Looking back towards Rabbit Island

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The Starveall Hut, nice and cosy

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My first batch of Bannock cooking on the fire. Fresh bread while your tramping is amazing!

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And last but not least, a cheesy star trail….