Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories


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JavaScript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable JavaScript in your browser and refresh the page. Auction in progress, bid now! Cover art by Edvard Moritz. The Painted Grave text story. Haunted House, art by King Ward. This item is not in stock. If you use the "Add to want list" tab to add this issue to your want list, we will email you when it becomes available. Winter issue. Edited by Richard E. Cover by Edvard Moritz. Spine-chilling tales of suspense, horror, and the supernatural—prepare yourself for Adventures into the Unknown!

Giants of the Unknown, art by Jon Blummer; Egyrtologist Tom Andrews leads an expedition to an ancient tomb where they find a giant mummy; The giant revives and tells them he is El-Rano, of an even more ancient race that was revered by the Egyptians as gods because of their advanced scientific knowledge. The Affair of Room , art by Edvard Moritz.

Back To Yesterday, art by Leonard Starr. Specialist In Spooks, art by Charlie Sultan. Rescue Out of the Unknown text story. She Dared the Unknown, art by Edvard Moritz; In the seventeenth century, Scarlett Dalton finds a weird figurine that is possessed by a spirit who gives her supernatural powers, but she is betrayed by her frightened fiance and burned as a witch. The Ghostly Crew, art by Jon Blummer. Strange Spirits, pencils by South Sea.

The Spectral Singer, art by John Celardo. Diamond, Bob Lubbers, and R. Art by Edvard Moritz, Jon L. Pious, Johnny Craig and Pete Costanza. Tales of science fiction, horror, and the supernatural from legendary early independent comics publisher ACG. A couple visiting Haiti encounters the original zombies of voodoo, along with their master, the beautiful but sinister Erzulie Bocor; A cursed piece of cloth taken from an Egyptian mummy brings doom wherever it goes. Nelson Bridwell. Stories by Paul Gattuso, R. Shadow of the Panther, art by Max Elkan; Robert Lewis comes up with a spray to bring things back from the dead, but when they do come back, they change form; A panther becomes a woman that he wants to marry, but he finds out that she never really stopped being a panther!

No Answer text story. When the Shaman Walked, art by John Belfi; A night-watchman in a museum and his niece are protected from crooks by a statue of a Siberian Shaman.

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Adventures into the Unknown (1948 ACG) comic books

The Gray One text story by E. Ad for Blazing West 9. Larsen, Al Camy, and Charlie Sultan. Cover by Ogden Whitney. Ogden Whitney cover art. Ogden Whitney art on the story "Beware the Jabberwock! Cover art by Ogden Whitney. Land of the Zombies, art by Edvard Moritz. A detailed blog by a keen cyclist who had ridden from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road.

The narrow road, clinging to the cliffs of the Victorian south coast, is epic and the scenery breathtaking. But, at kilometres long, it lends itself to car travel, which means negotiating hairpin bends and mountainous terrain while jammed into a long queue of fellow sightseers. With limited viewing points, you could easily find yourself driving the full length without seeing anything except an occasional teasing flash of ocean blue. Cycling would mean travelling slowly, drinking in the sights and experiencing the ups and downs of the landscape. As I planned my route and, in the.

Immediately doubts were voiced. I pushed on regardless, and it was a conversation with a fellow bike tourer that finally sealed the deal for me. With my trusty speed road bike, circa , by my side, I was set. Before the trip, I wrote list after list of the belongings I would need. All those bored commuters stuck in the daily grind and there I was, at the start of an adventure. I zoomed past packed buses feeling the freedom; I bumped over train tracks marvelling at my robust setup, even managing to stop at traffic lights, creating amusement amongst the monotony as I halted with a severe wobble.


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This was great. I was confident. I was euphoric. Left would mean leaving. Left would mean one hell of a retrace should it be wrong. But, if correct, the following left would be a shortcut. Sceptically, I turned left. Hours later I collapsed into my first campsite. Seventy kilometres from my starting point, the Adelaide Hills conquered, and a full day of riding on the flat ahead of me, I was tired but happy.

With the afternoon sun streaming through glistening gum leaves, there was nothing to do except cook a carb-rich dinner and curl up in my essential tent on my essential sleeping mat and call it a night. Over the next week, as cars, campervans and trucks careened by, I slowly crept towards the Great Ocean Road. I negotiated car ferries. I was a point of interest for bemused cows, of which entire herds would look up and stare.

I befriended convoys of grey nomads also attracted by the free campsites but avoiding the inconvenience of limited amenities by trucking in their own. I became a convert to padded, spongy bike shorts and, after battling raging headwinds, I became an expert on beating the weather. My days started pre-dawn, breaking camp by the light of a torch and hitting the road while the sun rose, the air still and the shadows long, and they ended in the early afternoon, tent pitched, tea brewing, with nothing more than the quiet ticking of the warm bush to interrupt my thoughts.

I continued to be waylaid by routeplanner misdirections; the wind was difficult, the heat was intense, and the traffic, especially the heavily laden log trucks, was terrifying. At times, when particularly fatigued, my bike ride felt. Then, eight days and kilometres from Adelaide, I came to a milestone.

Denoted by a patch of gravel and an underwhelming sign, the South Australian-Victorian border. There was little incentive to pull over, however having reached this point by legs alone, it was a moment to celebrate. As I munched my illicit fruit, I read the neglected info panel. By day ten I was proceeding briskly along the A1 highway, and the Great Ocean Road was feeling tantalisingly close.

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With my thoughts drifting I barely glimpsed the gum leaf shaped object that brought me to a standstill. A slight bump, an audible hiss and suddenly my rear tyre was flat. Fortunately, despite my pain-addled thoughts in the Adelaide Hills, I had hung onto the, now essential, spare inner tube. Within moments though I realised a spoke had broken and the structure of the wheel was compromised, leaving me in a far stickier predicament.

That, however, was exactly my position. I was in need of a bloke in a ute, a notion which, unfortunately, as a woman alone, I. However, with a huge four-wheel drive bearing down on me, technically the perfect candidate, there was little else to do except stick out my thumb. The car pulled up beside me, and a large, muscular man jumped out. Outside my window a distance that should have taken days to cover passed in a blur, too fast to pick detail.

I managed to ride a small section of the Great Ocean Road, making it to the Twelve Apostles, a route highlight. However, with steep terrain ahead, an unpredictable bicycle and a constant stream of distracted tourists, common sense kicked in. Despite this, as I sat on the train with nothing to distract me, I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment. I had failed. Had I given up too easily? Should I have tried harder, done better?

Was it all just a waste of time? Now, across the world, I think back on my trip and realise that, upon reflection, it was far from a failure. I rode kilometres in 12 days, unassisted, on a vintage road bike. I camped in the bush, I befriended kind strangers, I visited unknown places, and I pushed myself harder than ever before. Though thousands of kilometres away, with grey skies, low temperatures and mist rolling past my window, I can shut my eyes and think back over my adventure, recalling the feel of the warm wind on my face, the smell of the eucalypt-perfumed air, the sounds of the hot bush mingling with the rattle of my bicycle and the sight of the shimmering, infinite horizon.

Romilly Spiers, an Australian expat living in the UK, is chasing her dream of being a wildlife cinematographer. In her spare time, she explores, both near and far, photographing the adventure along the way. Ka nukunuku; E! Hiking through the rugged and remote landscape the first inhabitants named Aotea, makes you want to burst into song. To stay on Great Barrier Island is to break away from convention; a great escape from the rat-race into a slower way of life. On Aotea, there are no supermarkets, no banks, no ATMs, no street or traffic lights, no footpaths, no main drainage, no reticulated power, and limited cell phone reception.

My mates Sam Rodney-Hudson and Nick Walker have been living there six months a year for the past couple of years with their two children, Zephyr and Ari. As Sam works online Living off the grid like the rest of the Barrier community, Sam and Nick work hard at a sustainable lifestyle on their slice of paradise — DIY renovations, assisting forest regeneration, growing and catching their food, baking their bread, making homebrew and managing pest control. A week with their family provides an insight into the GBI existence. As I soon discovered, the home truths of life on The Barrier are linked to living in tune with nature while nurturing an environmentally-friendly future.

Ninety kilometres northeast of downtown Auckland, Aotea is accessible by plane or boat. A minute scenic flight to the island sets the tone for a. We fly quite low over the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, green velveteen islands and marbled blue water mapping our way towards Great Barrier at its outer edge. Protected for its natural and cultural heritage, the Marine Park extends over an area of 1.

Aotea is the renowned, rich and resource-laden ancestral land of the Ngati Rehua hapu of Ngatiwai, who live on the island today and can trace their undisputed occupation back to the 17th century when chief Rehua claimed mana whenua and mana moana over its land and surrounding waters. Said to be an important stopoff point because of its proximity to Polynesia, the earliest settlers would have been attracted by its mild climate and abundant food supply.

Evidence of early life on Aotea can be seen at several archaeological sites including pa, terraced farms, umu, middens and stoneworking sites, mostly found on the coast. Thankfully the days of plunder are over and today two-thirds of the island are publicly owned and managed by the Department of Conservation.

Arriving at Claris airport in his trusty ute, Nick collects me and my companion, Sally. We stop at the shop for supplies and drop in on another. Hundreds of native seedlings are lined up in the nursery, the veggie patch is flourishing, and a cluster of wheelie bins hooded with corrugated plastic collect rainwater in addition to the large water tank beside the house.

Here lies a glimpse into another Barrierism — water is precious. The natural resource of the surrounding Pacific Ocean fosters a rich ecosystem and a playground for boating, fishing, kayaking, diving, swimming and surfing. During our escape, we spied. Stepping onto the cottage deck, the view instantly bewitched us. From its metre perch, the property overlooks verdant valleys tumbling towards the sea with Rakitu Island framing the horizon. Pathways into primordial bush around the house have been carved by their neighbour Stu, enticing exploration. Nick leads the way as we traverse his backyard — a tangle of regenerating coastal forest.

We weave below towering punga, ankles and faces brushed by soft ferns. Pausing to admire a lush nikau grove, we bushbash through dense supplejack and flowering kanuka until a small stand of year-old kauri trees comes into view. These days, many walking tracks on Aotea follow old logging and milling tramway routes,. A few acres of original forest survive, and much is regenerating like this little patch.

Unfortunately, now kauri face a new threat. The mysterious and incurable dieback disease can infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients to the trees, rotting the plant from the inside out. There is no known treatment, and nearly all infected kauri die. For this reason, forest users must be vigilant about cleaning all equipment that encounters soil before and after leaving kauri forests. Many of the sites we visit over the week have cleaning stations at their entrances where we dutifully scrub and spray our gear.

Back at the bach for our first island. His speciality is Spicy Rabbit Curry — the meat being the by-product of recent pest control. Dave often pops in. Longtime Okiwi resident, he owns and manages Island Stay Lodge next door. His two sons join Sally and me on our first activity as pseudo-nannies: an exploration of Okiwi school and Whangapoua beach.


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  4. Zephyr is our tour guide as we check out the school, Te Kura O Okiwi. Free of many of the introduced predators now present on the mainland, Aotea has become a haven for many native animals and plants. The chevron skink is found only here and on Little Barrier, and three plant species are endemic to the island — the Great Barrier tree daisy, hebe shrubs, and prostrate kanuka tree. Later in the week, we return to the park for the community Christmas picnic. Our stay also coincided with the arrival of the Flying Carpet — the yacht Sam and Nick co-own with mates.

    This happy event teaches us our next island lesson — having access to a boat on the Barrier is a no-brainer. On a blue-sky afternoon, we boarded the Carpet for a cheeky cider then caught the tender around the point to Sandy Bay. On our last day, we took the pramfriendly walk to Kaitoke Hot Springs. Starting from Whangaparapara Road inland from Claris, the path follows an ancient shoreline through wetlands and kanuka forest.

    Dammed at a fork in Kaitoke Creek, the series of sulphurous springs vary in depth and temperature. Surrounded by delicate umbrella fern, the deepest pool a quick scramble upriver is our preferred spot. Said to have healing properties, the water certainly leaves the skin feeling soft and the mind reset.

    Seven days provided scope to sample. After a taster of life on Aotea, my thoughts hover around how to manifest my next stretch there. Her current obsessions are hot pineapple, finding the perfect snowflake and escapades in search of the horizon. Her signature style combines soft, delicate, watercolour with tough, bold edges of acrylic.

    Time: 6pm. Physical and emotional state: An odd mixture of exhaustion, thrill and anticipation. The usual, one could say. As the sun sets, we continue to push the limits of our rental car. Petrol stations, let alone houses are a rare sight down here. The freedom of the open road in this case, a dirt track is seductive, serendipitous and liberating.

    How beautifully endearing the views in front of us are. Scenes filled with endless shades of brown and orange; a mix of rust, rock, and sand. Enough with the daydreaming, I remember. Fuel is what we need, not some inspirational Instagram caption. Now, where does. My name is Carmen. The privilege of continuous access to information, to countries near and far, and to political stability for many western millennials has sparked an ever-growing sense of wanderlust. What it has also sparked, however, is an attitude of massive content consumption. In an effort to shift my very own paradigm, I intend to create, not consume.

    Or at least create more than I consume. Hence my year on the road. Never intended, it just so happened that I found myself in a foreign place for most of I nearly ran out of fuel in Morocco with my partner in crime. I hid from moose in Canada and learned about Fado in Madeira.

    I wondered and wandered in Israel and galloped through Petra. There were turtles in Australia, too much wine in Italy, and days on end in French museums. But there was something else, too. There was a shift, a change of mindset. Sharing tea with customs officers on my Moroccan arrival unravelled laughter, not weariness. Exuberant palaces in Portugal let the most colourful dreams come to life. But, most importantly, walking the endless streets of such countries created a. Insight such as the importance, no, the monumental weight anyone and everyone must place on doing social good.

    On paying it forward and looking after those most vulnerable. A year on the road, filled with a diversity of adventures and cultures, made me understand what it takes to build a community; to create a society, others, like myself, are so intrigued by they might just visit. One where neighbours share bread and washing lines frame the streets.

    One where the homeless are an integral part of society, being actively offered not just shelter, but respect and jobs, like in Vancouver. One where resilience and hospitality are indispensable, even after megatyphoons wiping out thousands of. Insight such as this invites a new attitude. An attitude of not merely seeing, but exploring the places I, we, go. Now, reading and watching it from our perceived comfort zone is the easy part. However, one will never truly grasp such ideas unless one has felt it in person. By doing so, the act of travelling becomes more personal and meaningful to me.

    I talk less and listen more. I move with more intention and learn to embrace uncertainty. All the while, my soul is filled with ever-more passion for exploring, adventuring,. I begin to cultivate a repertoire of experiences, understanding and networks alike. Carmen Huter spends her time photographing, writing, and exploring. A curious eye and genuine enthusiasm for connecting the ordinary every day with the extraordinary worlds of travel and style are what drives her.

    An extra-tropical cyclone combined with a strong cold front produced one of the most destructive storms of the last decade in the South and Southeast of Brazil.

    Adventures Into the Unknown (American Comics Group)

    It punished 1, kilometres of coast with winds of more than kilometres per hour, which produced waves with up to five metres of face in some areas. As the Fire Department and Civil Defence attended hundreds of incidents, which included buried houses, landslides and washed away cars, we the athletedocumentarist Fernanda Lupo and I decided to face this historic storm on the eve of a daring expedition that had already consumed our last five years.

    One of the most extreme and lesser-known forms of kayaking, it unfortunately also means greater risk. After a few invitations and declinations, we finally convinced the paddler Evaldo Plado, who agreed to exceed his limits and reinforced the safety of our team. To ensure we have the skills required for such demanding and technical adventures, we need to practise various.

    What may appear as insanity is the result of years of training and the use of proper equipment satellite devices, quality clothing, etc. We studied meteorology and outdoor survival and mastered various techniques. After all, opening a map and dreaming up new challenges is the easy part. According to the Beaufort Wind Scale, a storm is classified as having speeds between 89 and kilometres per hour. On this specific day, forecasters reported As we were on the oceanic side of the archipelago and more exposed to the severe south quadrant, the wind probably overtook these marks and generated a destructive, violent storm — Grade 11 — on a scale that goes up to 12 hurricane.

    It was an unforgettable spectacle that blended tension and thrills under the Patagonian climate. Huge waves exploded on the rocks like dynamite, forming fans up to ten metres high and big enough to make even the most experienced sailor worried. The sea seemed to be covered by furious polar bears and was so cold that it was essential to paddle with more than one thermal layer underneath our wetsuits. Massive walls of salt water were hitting me with full force, forcing me to repeat a series of actions so as not to hit the rocky bottom or be thrown against the coast. Memorising the rocks in.

    I repeated this sequence until I passed the worst waves of each session, which came every five minutes. Punches, hits on chest and slaps in the face were on the menu this day, with no time to rest or reposition myself in safe places, before being swallowed up and dragged by a new mass of foam into areas so shallow that they left scars on my boat. There is a fine line that divides safety and risk; it was certainly an experience I will never forget.

    It demanded the utmost of my knowledge and taught me more than a hundred trips under clear blue skies could ever do. He is passionate about kayaking adventures and unexplored mountain expeditions. I was suddenly awake. I made my way to the door frame, past the trembling walls then into the kitchen.

    Everything we owned was crashing around me. I was in a ceramic and glass salad being tossed from pillar to post. I could see my girlfriend wedged in the door frame, the full moon lighting up the juddering edges now broken to smithereens. The noise was like an ancient force calling from beneath. You flee. Your body shortcuts 50 millennia of civilisation, and you are , years straight back to the African plains. You are running, every molecule of your being remembers, beyond fear and terror, there is flight. For all our technology, our understanding and striving for more, in that shaking instant it becomes acutely apparent we are still just humanoids lost in space and ruled by a predisposition to survive.

    My veins were bursting, and my legs possessed. We were out the house and had run metres by the time the initial quake ceased. We heard the sound of cows helpless and wailing and watched as power poles were banging from side to side. With each massive aftershock, a new wave of chemicals from our adrenal glands arrived.

    We got to higher ground and waited, listening to the landslide in the mountain ranges behind. The entire event lasted for two minutes with the worst of the shaking lasting 50 seconds. The Hope, Hundalee, Waipapa and Kekerengu faults were among six major fault lines that all ruptured in rapid succession, driving the seabed upward, pulling Cape Campbell two metres closer to the North Island, shunting Kaikoura northeast by nearly a metre, and forcing it upwards by 70 centimetres.

    A tsunami did hit just before daybreak, a two-and-a-half metre surge, thankfully only causing minimal damage. The aftershocks kept coming; bellowing rumbles and pulses of adrenaline still pumping as we were dropped off at a rural crossroad on the plains somewhere between the sea, the mountains and a blood red sky. The hills were dusty, and the sea looked guilty. Dawn broke across the panorama of Kaikoura, a place that I have had the privilege to call home for the last four years, and the aftermath of this big, complex, fascinating and destructive event started to unfold.

    The resourcefulness, resilience and sense of co-operation the people showed is something I will never forget. It is a deep self-reliance, born from the necessity of living in these sublime and remote islands, which comes into its own at times like these. The outpour of support from the rest of New Zealand toward those affected and the sheer rate of recovery is a testament to the vitality of this young nation. For all our confused feelings towards nature, for all our cave paintings and Instagram feeds, our pollution and desecration, our classifications and observations, our gushing admiration and relentless exploitation, it matters little.

    Our sentiments are not reciprocated; nature is without sentiment. It is older and bigger than us, and it moves in ways we shall never fathom, on this pulsating rock, alone, out here in space. Line a large spring-form cake tin with baking paper. In a large pot, place the chopped apples and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook with the lid on until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain water. Add butter to the hot apples and set aside until melted. Add sugar, eggs and sultanas.

    Stir well. Add dry ingredients and fold in gently, until just combined. Transfer cake mix into the lined tin. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cake should be springy to the touch, with a skewer coming out just clean. Pears or peaches can be thrown in with the apple; use up whatever is in season and readily available. For special occasions double the recipe, make two cakes and layer them up with salted caramel. Heat the sugar in a pot, stirring continuously. It will form clumps and eventually melt. Once melted, immediately add butter and simmer for minutes.

    Slowly drizzle in cream. Boil 1 minute then remove from heat and add salt. Leave to cool, then transfer to a jar and store in the fridge. Melt the butter and sugar at a medium heat. Cook without stirring until it has turned a medium caramel colour. Stir in sesame seeds. Pour over baking paper. Spread out to 5mm thickness, sprinkle sea salt over and gently press into the surface. When cold, break into pieces.

    Recipe and image reproduced with permission from Valley Gathering by Genevieve King. Published by Something Beginning with G. Valley Gatherings is the first book by Genevieve King. Inspired by the valley where she grew up, Genevieve has shown a glimpse of life in the area with photos, stories and recipes using local produce. She is also a raft guide on the river, and you can read about one of her recent adventures on page The DNT maintains many tourist huts and tracks in Norway, and unstaffed huts are exclusive to members who have a key to open them.

    We came out of the office with two membership cards, a key, topographical maps and bus tickets to take us to the start of our adventure. Karen and I were about to tick off another item from the bucket list — a tramping trip across the highest national park in Norway, Jotunheimen Nasjonalpark — The Home of the Giant. After spending a night at Gjendesheim hut, located at the eastern entrance to the park, we set off early for our fiveday tramp.

    This day was the biggest day, climbing over Besseggen Ridge. Most hikers staying in the hut took the early boat toward Memurubu, our destination for the day. During the last ice age glaciers carved these valleys. After three hours of climbing, we reached a large cairn, with a panoramic view overlooking both clear, blue Lake Bessvatnet, and the silky Lake Gjende. The Besseggen Ridge separates the two lakes at different heights — Bessvatnet is metres higher than Gjende.

    The blue Scandinavian sky was clear, and the weaker August sunshine accentuated the stunning scenery. The descent along the narrow rocky ridge required a bit of care; balance was not easy with the heavy load in our backpacks four days of food! It was about this time we started to encounter many day walkers coming the other way. We soon realised why so many hikers took the morning boat to Memurubu. They choose to walk in the other direction — climbing the ridge instead of down. Much easier!

    After eight hours of ascent and descent, we finally arrived at the Memurubu Hut. We knew there were no self-catering areas in the staffed huts in Norway, and Memurubu was no exception. We had some concern about cooking inside the bunkroom, so while the sun was still high and the wind was low, we headed down to the campground to cook up our spaghetti. Surrounded by big mountains and crisp blue sky it was a great spot to reflect on the.

    Each of the staffed huts has a weather forecast, so we knew a front was approaching on the day we were to walk from Memurubu to Gjendebu. The first two hours climbing was okay, however, once we reached the top of the ridge, the gale force winds picked up, following the valleys on one side of the mountains, then bursting up with force, hitting the ridge we were walking along.

    A couple of older Norwegian men with plastic ponchos and day packs passed us, heading in the other direction. We held on to each other as we walked, clinging on to rocks when the gusts became too strong. While chatting with the Belgians the previous night, they mentioned that the track to the hut is very rocky with chains to climb down. Given the weather, we decided to take the longer but more gentle track. It was the right decision. Once we had escaped from the ridge, the wind and rain eased, but the next couple of hours descent felt much longer than it was. We were frustrated that the forecast was only for lake-level, and it is so different where we walked.

    Or maybe we missed that. After staying at DNT Gendebu hut, the weather had improved the next morning. Our gear was almost dry, and we were happy enough to start the day. As we approached the small saddle above Vesladalen the trees got shorter, and we came out to a vast, open area, like standing on the moon. We walked through this landscape for the next few hours, navigating the rock scree around Rauddalsegge Peak before we spotted the DNT Olavsbu hut in the distance, which soon became our favourite hut of the tramp.

    DNT Olavsbu was the only selfserviced hut on our tramp. We took out the key to open the hut, but found it was already unlocked. We lost our only chance to open a hut the Norwegian way. It turned out only three Norwegian couples were staying in the hut, making it feel off the beaten track.

    Since Karen was a child, her dad taught her to explore the hut facilities upon arrival, and she adhered to the habit. We enjoyed a tin of reindeer meatballs and instant mashed potato from the provisions, which we justified as a cultural experience. We soaked up real Norwegian backcountry — reading a book with a candle, chatting quietly and spending a calm and peaceful night.

    The afternoon sunshine had just started to come out when we arrived at. After some broken English and sign language, we found out that the cheaper beer was alcohol-free, so we stuck with the most expensive beer we have ever had, in a plastic cup — one between two of us.

    On our last morning, the sky had cleared up. The track followed the Ulta River, which was still swollen from the last few days of rain and resulted in spectacular waterfalls. This valley was much greener, with old shepherds' huts dotted along the track and sheep grazing around them. Climbing to the head of the valley the view changed again, and it took our breath away. An infinite number of tarns and lakes were dotted on the Tundra Plateau, with the mountains covered by large sheet glaciers.

    An hour walk led us to the western end of the National Park at Sognefjellshytta Sogn Forest Hut — and our final destination. Sadao Tsuchiya is a hiking guide, currently living in Queenstown, New Zealand. Born and bred in the countryside of Tokyo, he became a forestry researcher in both the New Zealand and Japanese mountains.

    I first met Selena five years ago in our first year at Otago University, but our history started 62 years earlier when our grandfathers tramped together on many adventures through the Southern Alps. Soon enough, however, we realised that we had very few of the skills required for that kind of expedition.

    After revising our plan, we settled on a more modest excursion through the kind-offamous-but-not-really Five Pass Route in Mt Aspiring National Park. The plan was to complete it in four days, with four girls and slightly insufficient three ice axes. The Queenstown region over the New Year period was absolute chaos and overflowing with people, to the point that even Glenorchy, quite literally on the way to admittedly, a very pretty nowhere, was teeming with people.

    Speaking from experience, it is advisable to remember that, when crossing the Beans Burn, one should look left, right and then left again to avoid getting skittled by a jet boat. Had we forded the river 15 seconds earlier, this article could have possibly been an obituary.

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    Some time later, we forgot about the jet boats and tourists, and continued our way toward the first of the Five Passes. On the ascent to Fohn Saddle,. We only realised this about half way up when two of us got stuck and were unable to get back down, and so our only option was to keep heading up.

    We decided to divide and conquer, sending the other two a different way. We reconvened an hour later on a small ledge, somewhat relieved to be with life and limb. To celebrate having survived the first. Although, I can only imagine the disdain felt by a group of two who wandered past our swimming hole. Here they were, two days walk from anywhere, only to find their wilderness experience disrupted by a group of rowdy girls, whooping their way through a swim. To their credit, the pair allowed us a brisk nod before heading on their way.

    We were going to be so safe on this small snow slope, once we had figured out which way around to hold the ice axes, the side of our bodies to plant them on and how to divide three ice axes between four people three-quarters of an ice axe each? We descended slowly and carefully down the slope, stopping to take obligatory photos with the ice axes in as many different angles as humanly possible with the team looking happy, sad, nonchalant, pensive the list goes on.

    Saving weight had always been a priority for us, unsure if we could handle the tramp without packs, let alone with them. As a result, the sleeping arrangement was the most archaic orange tent fly you could imagine. The fly is highly functional in the bush where there are tall trees to pitch it from. But above bush line on the Olivine Ledge, trees are few and far between, let alone two near one another. While I would say that the team designated to setting up camp which included me did a fantastic job, it was hard to get past the fact that the fly, pitched with two walking poles at maximum extension, was but centimetres from our faces when lying flat.

    Needless to say, the fly did little to keep any of us dry that night, even though it was a rain-free experience. After being passed by two groups of much older trampers on the way down Hidden Valley, which was only mildly demoralising, we found ourselves at the bottom of Park Pass. The spur that the rough track followed required us to channel our inner spirit animals the tortoise — for all of us to make it to the top. Three of the five passes on the third day sounded like a much better idea in the planning stages of the trip than on the day itself.

    And yet, it now had to be done. On the top of Fiery Col, the second of our five passes, we.

    On the fourth and final day, it rained. There is nothing quite like the pitter patter of the rain while trudging down a valley. This day was the only day that there. However, the unfortunate truth of having a track is an increase in traffic, which comes with an increase in general wear and tear on the track.

    As such, three of the four of us found ourselves swimming in waistdeep mud at least once during this day. And then there was the fifth and final pass; the smallest of them all. It had the former effect on my three friends and the latter effect on me. The last ten minutes of the route follows the Routeburn Track Nature Walk.

    I have never felt so ridiculous in my life, as we limped past the nature walkers, dressed in expensive and ohso-clean outdoor gear, while we were covered in mud, carrying big packs and funny looking walking sticks with odd spiky bits that were far too short for anyone. If only they knew. She occasionally finds the time to return to her homeland and one true love… the New Zealand Wilderness! Earth has 14 peaks above 8, metres, all of which can be found in the Himalayas.

    They are magnificent, beautiful, and some days, deadly. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Adventures into the Unknown 1 Fall

    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories
    Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories Adventures into the Unknown: The Howling Head and other stories

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