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NOLS NZ Thanksgiving

NZSF-1 & 2 enjoyed an early thanksgiving dinner at NOLS NZ. The homely and hearty meal was a welcome celebration to the completion of the semesters. 

IMG_0790Slightly Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Enjoying a Homely Thanksgiving Meal

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 26, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-1 Graduation

New Zealand Semester One graduated yesterday after a successful final section to their semester.
The third and final section of their semester was a hiking section in the Kahurangi National Park.
Students enjoyed the independence this section was able to offer.
A highlight was climbing to the top of Mount Patriarch and enjoying the views as the clouds lifted. 

PB250005NZSF-1 Graduation Day 
We wish them all safe travels on their next adventure 
and encourage them all to make good decisions.

Remember "hard to easy"  

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 26, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF Final Sections and Instructor Teams

New Zealand Fall Semesters are now on the third and final section of their semesters.
NZSF 1 & 2 are due back next week.
NZSF 3,4 & 5 mail might arrive in time if you send it before this weekend. 

NZSF-1 is Hiking 
NZSF-2 is Hiking 
NZSF-3 is Mountaineering 
NZSF-4 is Sea Kayaking 
NZSF-5 is Canoeing

PB190002NOLS New Zealand Fall Semester Instructors


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 19, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-5 Transition

New Zeaand Semester five came through the NOLS base earlier this week. They completed a windy Sea Kayak section in the Marlborough Sounds and were last seen yesterday paddling down the Clarence River in Canoes. 

PB180012NZSF-5 students with instructor Lloyd Stetson



Canoe Instructors; Geoff kooy, Kurt Hotchkiss and Amanda Kalyn
 Leela Riley didn't get to go this time 





Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 19, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-3 Hike to Mountain

New Zealand Fall Semester Three switched from Hiking to Mountaineering last week. The group is now on the third and final section of their semester. They are Mountaineering in the Arthur's Pass National Park

NZSF-3 Students all healthy and happy

Classroom in the hills


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 16, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZ Semester Field Switches

NZ Semester Courses NZSF2 9-11-14, NZSF3 9-18-14 and NZSF4 9-25-14 all have the dubious honor of an extended period without a hot shower, in that one of their section switches takes place in the field rather than at the NOLS NZ base in Aniseed Valley.

NZSF4 get their heads around learning Canoe skills after a month of Hiking

Last week NZSF4 transitioned from hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park to canoeing on the Clarence River. The group learned a lot about "tolerating adversity and uncertainty" during their hike section, dealing with inclement spring weather and a number of athletic injuries during their journey over the rugged peaks of the top of the South Island. However, spirits were high as they regrouped and prepared for their paddle to Pacific. The group is due to emerge at the Clarence River mouth on the 17 November. They will return to NOLS briefly before heading out for their final semester section on 19 November: Sea Kayaking in Marlborough Sounds.

Meanwhile, NZSF2 concluded their mountaineering adventure in the Arrowsmith range and moved further along the Southern Alps to begin their final section: Hiking a south to north traverse through Nelson Lakes National Park. Highlights of their Mountaineering section were learning the art of snow-camping, completing an ascent of Pito Peak (2401m/7877') and rousing themselves for a sunrise climb. NZSF2 will return to the branch on 25 November, and will graduate the next day.

NZSF3 are currently underway with a mini Independent Student Group Expedition, the ultimate way to close their Hike section in the Lake Sumner Forest Park. They will switch in the field on 9 November to their final semester section, Mountaineering in the Arthurs Pass area of the Southern Alps.


NZSF3 will be remembering their last branch meal fondly - some mountains to climb before their next pie!

NZSF2 all smiles and blue skies atop Pito Peak in the Arrowsmith Mountains

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 2, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF 1 & 5 Boots for Boats

New Zealand Semester One and Semester Five came through the NOLS NZ base yesterday.
Semester One swapped boats for boots
Semester Five swapped boots for boats

PA290040 Swapping Boots for Boats 


NZSF-1 9/11/14 

New Zealand Semester one returned to the base yesterday after Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds. They enjoyed relatively settled weather but also enjoyed paddling in some bigger sea conditions. Highlights from the Sea Kayak section included; learning to roll a kayak, paddling 18 miles in one day, exploring the campsites and the diverse wildlife encounted. Specific wildlife encounters included Little Blue Penguins, Eels and dolphins. There have been over 50 species of birds identified so far on the semester. The group observed a native bird species fighting back against predators when they saw a weka chasing and eating a rat.   

The semester is now heading out to Kahurangi National Park for the third and final section of their semester. They got dropped off at the Southern end of the park and are spending the next 26 days making their way North. Kahurangi National Park is a world-renowned fly fishing location.    

Students will return to the NOLS NZ base on the 25th Nov. 
If you would like to send any mail to students please send it soon to ensure it makes it down here before their semester ends.  


NZSF-5 9/25/14

New Zealand Semester five spent the night at the base switching from Hike to Sea Kayak.
The group spent the first section of their semester hiking in the Kahurangi National Park. They started their semester with some exciting off trail navigation and a good healthy dumping of snow. The group banded together to overcome weather, route and minor injuries.
The group encounted a Department of Conversation team who were dropping 1080 poision for pest control. 
The section culminated with a 4-day student led expedition. 

The group is now Sea Kayaking in the Pelorus Sound. The Pelorus Sound is the largest of the sounds which make up the Marlborough Sounds.
The group will return to the NOLS NZ base on the 18th Nov when they transition to the Canoeing section. 

Canoeing section will be from 19th Nov - 9 Dec 
Course graduation is on Dec 10th

P9250036NZSF-5 Studnets ready to head out as a team 


IMG_6651_resizedThe NOLS NZ Base up in the Aniseed Valley 




Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Oct 29, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-1 Cultural Section

Between Mountaineering and Sea Kayaking, NZSF-1 students spent a night at the Te Awhina Marae in Motueka. They were formally welcomed onto the Marae and learned about Maori customs and culture

P1010058NZSF-1 students all healthy and happy at the gateway to the sacred waters of the Riwaka Resurgence

The group is now out Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough sounds with instructors Lloyd Stetson and Andrew Harrison. 

PA070080Seriously, we need to take extra cocoa! 


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Oct 14, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Switching gears!

Last week was a busy one at NOLS NZ with Fall Semesters NZSF1 9/11/14 and NZSF 2 9/11/14 back at the branch for the switch between their respective semester sections. Both groups arrived with all students in good health and with smiles on their faces.

NZSF1 enjoyed relatively kind NZ spring weather on their Mountain section and witnessed some spectacularly clear Southern night skies when making their alpine starts. They were able to fit in several peak ascents and some glacial travel on the Ashburton Glacier. The group has now switched ice axes for paddles and is out exploring the Marlborough Sounds on their 22 day Sea Kayak section.

NZSF2 were challenged by strong winds for much of their Sea Kayak section, but managed a 105 nautical mile journey through the Marlborough Sounds. Their section featured encounters with penguins, gannets, dolphins, seals, eels and albino possums and had the closing highlight of a moonlit night kayak in glassy conditions between storm fronts. They've now donned packs and have headed into the Arrowsmith Range for 23 days Mountaineering.


Saying goodbye to the luggage for another 3 weeks in the field
Head over heels, jumping for joy - NZSF2 ready for the mountains

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Oct 12, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Final NZ Fall Semesters in the Field

NZ Fall Semesters NZSF4 and NZSF5 headed for the hills over the weekend to start the Backpacking section of their respective courses. Prior to getting their hiking boots on, both groups joined to complete a two day Cultural section at Te Awhina Marae in Motueka, where they were introduced to the Maori culture and traditions.

NZSF4 bagging rations for 77 days in the wilderness

NZSF4 hiked straight out of the NOLS NZ branch into Richmond Forest Park, starting a journey that will take them full circle around the north-east part of the South Island. Their hike will take them through to Nelson Lakes National Park where they will see the source of the Clarence River, the river they will paddle the lower reaches of in their Canoe Section. Upon reaching the sea, they will transition via the branch to Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds for their final section.

Instructor Jacqui leads one of the NZSF4 hike groups out into the field straight from the NOLS base!

Meanwhile, NZSF5's Backpacking section will explore the wonders of Kahurangi National Park (Kahurangi translates as "Treasured Posession"). The course will then Sea Kayak in the Marlborough Sounds before their Canoe section finale on the Clarence River.

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 28, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

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