Now, New Zealand isn’t Europe, but it still got some quite decent rock. And, that’s for sure, some very, very decent scenery to play in.
After not climbing for a whole month in Indonesia (imagine that!), I just had to pin the climbing mission high on my flags for New Zealand. Could not help it. What followed was an epic two-month road trip throughout the South Island, chasing the sun and the crags. For some reason, we had five days of straight sunshine down in the Fiordlands, a place with an annual rainfall of 6000+mm. The regions around Queenstown entertain you with some Schist that actually holds your body weight and lovely Wanaka had us come back three times.
Bouldering in world-famous Castle Hill is, of course, a must-do. This magical place offers some 10000+ boulder problems. Literally. But those weird rock formations make sure what you won’t find a single one of them since you won’t be able to spot a single hand- or foothold. But running into some local-pro’s helps a lot to get you psyched for the day. “So how are you supposed to get up there?!”, a common phrase.
New Zealand’s sport-climbing Mecca Paynes Ford got me bound for three weeks (it happens to everyone). But who could possibly defy days of two-hour break-feasts, perfect sport climbing, and legendary campfire-circles nursed by the conversations of beautiful and strange climbing bums? Right. Might as well stay another day. But now, unmistakeably, winter is creeping in, slowly but surely, so I have to flee to the North, counting the days. Counting the days!