Aspiringtoaoraki Photos & Videos on Instagram

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bennylieb

This was taken on the shoulder of Tasman at about 3400m. Directly below is Lendenfeld- which we’d Summit a second time to get down from Tasman, behind that is Douglas south face. Sitting there in the warm sun, perched above it all- I fell in love with New Zealand. I realized just how special this wonderful country is- With it’s beautiful mountains, thick rain forest, friendly people, seemingly peaceful politics and shared love for nature and conservation. I am full of gratitude for these lovely peaks and the Kiwi people. So good down here!! 😌🙏 #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @eliteclimb @giverjh @backpackerspantry @4ocean

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chrisbrinleejr

The power to pivot: that's what this expedition ultimately represented. During our crossing, nothing really went according to plan. So we adapted, with ease, often and necessarily on the fly. It's was easy to pivot in the construct of our adventure, when life depended on it (in the case shown here, @alpacka_raft provided a pre-determined and much-needed pivot, relieving our bodies and our minds) - but it is so much more difficult to pivot in the grand scheme of life. We tend to get stuck on emotions tied to "the plan." Why do we choose what we want and not what we need - choosing to listen to the heart instead of acknowledging logic? The heart says "finish what you started." Logic says, "it's not working for you, so find something new." There is no wrong answer when choosing the one that's right for you. Acknowledging to that inner dilemma and taking the time to process it is the key to a successful pivot. When was a time that you got caught in the battle of the left and right brain? How did you handle it? Did that lead to a pivot? Let me know in the comments. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering #thisispackrafting

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bennylieb

Rapping off the summit ice cap of Mt. Tasman at about 3,300m. A nice break from all the down climbing we did. This rap led right into an ice cave! Dangling in space waaay off the deck on the second tallest peak in NZ was one of the cooler experiences I’ve ever had... even if just for a short distance. 🙂✌️ Photo by my partner Cam 🕺#AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @eliteclimb @giverjh @backpackerspantry @4ocean

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chrisbrinleejr

As I hinted in my last post, this has been a tough experience for me to unpack. Even though there wasn't a particular dramatic happening on our expedition that caused an existential blow, this trip - and subsequent failed missions in the Southern Alps - has been a catalyst. Not for ignition of a passionate flame, but for the extinguishment of the fire inside me; it's been slowly burning itself out throughout the course of the past forty some-odd nights. My passion for the outdoors is not at stake; and neither is my passion for storytelling. But my passion for alpinism is at dire risk. Climbing (or attempting to do so) in New Zealand - by the way of traditional, human-powered approaches has made me want to quit. All of it. The struggle of this dilemma is that I have wrapped my identity up in the activity - and I have essentially dedicated my life to it; especially for these last eight months. If I stop now, has everything that I have done up to this point been in vain? I know that I need to pivot, but it's so hard to move away from the precipice of what could be unexplored greatness. And so for the last forty days and nights, I have felt stuck - trapped by my identity and the sacrifices that my career-intertwined-life requires. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering #existentialcrisis

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bennylieb

We’re back from SUPERB conditions and weather in the alpine. Here’s Douglas Peak (3077m) south face- Signed Sealed Delivered!! 📩📪 We climbed this route Monday, sadly the only 3 hour storm that came through happened on the upper route 🤣 of course. 500m of steep ice! Truly a spectacular climb! Many photos to come of this and our other climbs. Such a great trip with new friends. A kiwi, French, and American team of 3! We had quite the adventure and even bivied on the summit of a 3000m peak! Finally the weather opened up after a rough stretch the last few weeks. We’re stoked! Time for some rest! 🙂✌️#AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @eliteclimb @backpackerspantry @giverjh @4ocean

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backpackerspantry

Have you been following along as our amazing ambassador @chrisbrinleejr takes on some of New Zealand's greatest mountains? Check out his adventures today, as he and his team climb, ski and packraft across some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. #aspiringtoaoraki 📸: @chrisbrinleejr

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thekiwiapproach

A few of my favourite shots by @thefunhog and @classy_jack from our overnight trip to French Ridge hut. With a very short weather window we decided to bail on climbing Mt Aspiring but instead took mountain bikes as far as we could and walked up most of the approach to the quarterdeck. Good to get a feel for the area, I’ll be back up there soon 😎 #thekiwiapproach #celebratediscomfort #aspiringtoaoraki #climbing #mountainbike #newzealand #camping #adventure

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chrisbrinleejr

I have been struggling to find the words to describe this trip - everything that comes to mind feels so shallow; so contrived. The words are lost because there's a conflict inside me. A raging fire feels like it has died. What's left is the shell of a man, perhaps a cocoon. Leaving the old form behind, and growing into something new. I'm not sure what it is yet, but I know what it isn't. All that's left is to pivot and find a new start. But where do I begin? #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #skimountaineering #southernalps #tasmanglacier

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chrisbrinleejr

After skiing down to the Fox Neve from Pioneer Hut, @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, @thekiwiapproach, and I crossed the glacier, skied up Newton Pass, and then skied across the Franz Josef Neve, arriving at the Centennial Hut in the late afternoon. The hut was full of leftover food, so we feasted for free and then watched the sunset below the west coast from the porch, and turned in early. The next morning, the real adventure would begin and we'd need all the rest we could get. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering

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chrisbrinleejr

Once we made it to the Alpine, our time was characterized by ski touring around and waiting out storms. On the first tour, we skinned up to Pioneer Pass, which was our original planned crossing for the main divide. Seeing it in person though, revealed that it was too rugged for us to ski, so we went back to the drawing board. After spending a day cooped up in the hut, we went for another tour to check out Douglas Peak. We wanted to climb a 600m alpine ice route on its south face, but the storm left it out of condition. Since ice climbing was out, we decided to move up our crossing, and found a new route via Graham Saddle, 9KM to the northeast. We left Pioneer Hut the following morning, and made our way toward Centennial Hut on the Franz Josef Glacier. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering

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chrisbrinleejr

After the unplanned heli bump, @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, and I arrived to the Pioneer Hut feeling fresh. @thekiwiapproach and @thewildindiangirl were already there, and we wasted no time setting up our touring gear. The weather was perfect so we headed out for a ski - and to scope out the South Face of Douglas Peak which we wanted to climb. It was such a wild feeling transitioning from temperate rainforest to snowy alpine in such a short time. I was disappointed that we flew up, but the feelings quickly passed in my favorite zone: the Alpine. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering

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chrisbrinleejr

On the first day of our expedition, @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, and I climbed onto the Fox Glacier's outlet, crossed, exited onto its adjacent moraine, and then continued hiking well into the night. Route finding through the wet slabs and scrub in the dark was slow-going, but we needed to make it to the Chancellor Hut to be in position for the second day's approach. When @pebbleshoo literally laid down on the grass and passed out, we decided that it was time to stop. I didn't carry a pad (we planned on sleeping in the hut) so I emptied my backpack, laid it down on the rope, and anchored into a small tree because my flat spot was on a the side of a cliff. The next morning we found the route just below us, rappelled from a serendipitous set of bolted anchors, and then proceeded to climb through the jungle--bushwacking our way to 1200m. It was painfully slow and a pain in the ass. We finally arrived at the Chancellor Hut around noon; the path to the Fox Glacier Neve, our destination, was in sight but there was a storm predicted to arrive the next day. The vote to take a helicopter bump to Pioneer Hut wasn't unanimous, but it was the safest bet; as a result we arrived there eight hours earlier and much fresher than expected. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering

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bennylieb

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost ❄️ #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @giverjh @eliteclimb @backpackerspantry @4ocean

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chrisbrinleejr

Not long after leaving the Fox Glacier car park, @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, and I crossed over a barrier that said "do not enter" as a warning to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who walk to the glacier's lookout each year. For the next week, we'd be going beyond the realm of "perceived safety," further, and further with each passing day; crossing that barrier and climbing onto the Fox set a precedent for our trip. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering

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chrisbrinleejr

@moonmountainman and @pebbleshoo were practically strangers to me when @thewildindiangirl and I picked them up from the airport in Queenstown. A couple of days later, we were packing in the parking lot of the Fox Glacier, preparing to embark on a mission that would test and challenge us all in ways that bring strangers together--or tear them apart. Stoked to say that this is a story about friendship. 📷: @thewildindiangirl #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering #skimountaineering

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melontools

#Repost from @eliteclimb with @regram.app ... Eliteclimb Salamandra with @bennylieb in New Zealand. Salamandra seems to be the best choice for expeditions- ultralight, durable, warm handle, stiff, precise, wrll balanced, many picks to choose... Great choice proven by opinions of top high altitude climbers.💪👌 ... I ❤️ New Zealand. #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab #10YOn @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @eliteclimb @giverjh @backpackerspantry @revo

0

chrisbrinleejr

Earlier this year, I came up with a crazy idea: cross the main divide of the Southern Alps via skis and packraft. The tough part followed immediately afterward: find a team crazy enough to do it with me. Surprisingly, the three people who I arrived at didn't hesitate to say yes. Over the next several posts, I'll be sharing moments from the expedition that @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, @ryaann_c, and I embarked upon, unofficially and lovingly referred to as #TheJunkshow. @alpacka_raft #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering #thisispackrafting

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bennylieb

This is a Kea, the world’s only alpine parrot. A curious, beautiful creature with a knack for causing trouble. They’ll take anything and everything they can- but I guess that’s life when searching for food in the alpine zone. There’s less than 5,000 of them left and they all live in New Zealand. Very cool interaction having this bird run along the railing at the French Ridge Hut to stare down my lens... and I was sure to get away before he tried to fly off with my gear! #Kea #Parrot #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @giverjh @eliteclimb @backpackerspantry

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chrisbrinleejr

As excellent as the mixed climbing was, and as fulfilling as the routes were as first mixed leads, the best part about the Remarkables Ice and Mixed Festival was having the opportunity to forge new friendships with @ryaann_c and @lucascarpati; these few days only represented the beginning of our mountain experiences together. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand#Mountaineering #MixedClimbing #alpineclimbing #Alpinism #Queenstown #theremarkables

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bennylieb

Gaining the ridge. 🤸‍♀️ #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @giverjh @eliteclimb @revo @backpackerspantry

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chrisbrinleejr

The second pitch (WI3) of Friday’s Fool was perhaps some of the most aesthetic climbing I'd ever done; the experience left me begging for more. 📷: @ryaann_c #MixedClimbing #IceClimbing #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering#Alpinism #Remarkables

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eliteclimb

Eliteclimb Salamandra with @bennylieb in New Zealand. Salamandra seems to be the best choice for expeditions- ultralight, durable, warm handle, stiff, precise, wrll balanced, many picks to choose... Great choice proven by opinions of top high altitude climbers.💪👌 ... I ❤️ New Zealand. #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab #10YOn @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @eliteclimb @giverjh @backpackerspantry @revo

1

bennylieb

4

chrisbrinleejr

On the second day of the festival, we showed up to climb one of the Remarkables’ most classic mixed routes, a 200m M4 WI3 called “Friday’s Fool.” Fortunately, there was already a party on the route so we had to turn around--it was steep, and I was pretty intimidated to lead it. The next day, however, @ryaan_c, @lucasscarpati, and I were feeling good; we got up to the route early to ensure that we were the first ones on it. We were. @ryaan_c captured this shot of me leading the first pitch. It was definitely the most-exposed and most-exciting thing that I’ve ever led! #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #IceClimbing #Remarkables #MixedClimbing #FridaysFool 📷 @ryaann_c

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chrisbrinleejr

This is a first-person view of my first-ever mixed climbing lead, a 150m M3 route called “Saturday Morning Special.” A fresh coat of snow had covered the route just a couple of days before; that made finding ice a little tougher, but overall, it felt a bit more “alpine.” #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #IceClimbing #Remarkables #MixedClimbing

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chrisbrinleejr

Last November, Kim Ladiges, shown climbing a WI4 here, along with a few others from the @nzalpineteam climbed the North Face of Cholatse - - 2,000m (6,500 feet) of vertical ice. I was probably staring up at them on the wall the last time I was in Nepal. Of all of the routes and mountains in the world, that’s the one I most desire to climb. Few attempt it, fewer climb it still. Kim, standing before me had; he’d be teaching me how to lead climb ice on the @adventureconsultants course. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #IceClimbing #WyeCreek

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bennylieb

🚨Last Call for Wintery conditions in the #Remarkables 🚨 Great to get out with @_jamiemarr_ yesterday while the climbing is still so thought provoking. Rad day. 💥🤺 #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab #10YOn @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @backpackerspantry @eliteclimb @giverjh

1

chrisbrinleejr

Ice climbing is an invaluable skill in the alpinists’ toolkit; in many ways, it’s one of the most difficult to develop. The season for climbing ice can be pretty short; conditions are variable; and you need to be a really solid follower before trying to lead. The types of mountain routes that I aspire to climb are comprised of long stretches of vertical ice; so for the last year and a half I’ve been climbing it as much as possible. After 60 or more pitches top-roped or followed, I was ready to learn how to lead. Fortunately, @adventureconsultants Ice Climbing Course at Wye Creek had an opening. We took a heli in from Queenstown, settled into the base camp, and then headed up to the crags--where a couple dozen routes from WI2 to WI5, along with my lead card, awaited. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #IceClimbing #WyeCreek

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chrisbrinleejr

Three hours after we began climbing the 600m North Face of Mount Earnslaw (2,830m, 9,284 feet), @the_vanman, @hamishsturmer, and I topped out. The views were even better than those from the summit of Mount Brewster--with river valleys, lakes, and jagged glaciated peaks all around. Want to see the ski down and packraft out? Check out #AspiringToAoraki vlog Episode 1. Link in my profile. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountEarnslaw

3

chrisbrinleejr

After moving to slow in the mountains on missions past, I knew that with my focused commitment to alpinism would come the need for specialized physical training. Having become familiar with the concepts in “Training for the New Alpinism,” but not possessing the skill or experience to design my own training program, I turned to @Uphill_Athlete--a company founded by the same authors of the book--that offer coaching and training programs designed specifically for people who want to athletically excel at climbing mountains. For the last six months I’ve been putting the @Uphill_Athlete concepts to practice, first through an 8-week custom training plan designed by Scott Johnson; and then with personalized coaching from @blitzkriegbarbie--and now I’m a believer. If you want to get fit for climbing mountains, getting one of their training plans (and sticking to it) is the way to do it. Climbs that would have been exhausting before (like this 600m of gain on Mount Earnslaw in three hours) are easy now. I’ve teamed up with @Uphill_Athlete to giveaway a 24 week expedition training plan, which would be perfect if you plan to climb a peak like Mount Cook, Denali, or Ama Dablam. For a chance to win: • Follow @Uphill_Athlete • Follow @chrisbrinleejr • Like this image • Tag a buddy • Comment what mountain (specific routes are great too!) you want to train for and why You have one week to enter; I’ll pick a winner next Friday. Let's hear about those aspirations! 👊🏼 #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountEarnslaw #UphillAthlete #TrainingForTheNewAlpinism

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chrisbrinleejr

After hiking 1,800m (6,000 feet) up with skis on my back (I couldn’t find terrain low-angled enough for skinning because we reached the snowline at dusk--and @the_vanman and @hamishsturmer were bootpacking straight up,) we arrived at the Esquilant Bivy just past midnight. I was beat. Dead tired. So tired that it was hard to find sleep. Four hours later we awoke; miraculously I felt strong and rested. I guess the training was paying off. As Cameron, Hamish, and I climbed the North Face of Mount Earnslaw (2,830m, 9,284 feet) the sun began to rise, igniting the surrounding mountains in a blaze of fire. The terrain, while exposed, was comprised of easy ground; snow slopes were connected by short steps of rock and ice which were exciting--but not enough so to unpack the rope. Want to see more from this trip? Check out #AspiringToAoraki vlog Episode 1. Link in my profile. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountEarnslaw

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bennylieb

My first night in New Zealand I arrived late, tired, and after two weeks of traveling around the entire world from my home in Alaska, I was all sorts of stressed out. I’d driven 5,000+ miles with @orion_wr and flown 9,000+ more alone. But that night the stars were out- by the billion, and I sat in the driveway in a new strange place and it didn’t take long for my eyes to be fixed on the Southern Cross, a constellation I’d always dreamed of seeing myself. I grew up to my dad’s music (@liebs88), Crosby Still and Nash were always common in his car. And in that moment their lyrics from the song “Southern Cross” came rushing through me, with whirlwinds and waves of thoughts coming full circle and filling my glass... “When you see the Southern Cross for the first time, you understand now why you came this way...” I sat in silence for quite a while that night under the southern cross, a shell of myself, with the angels and demons of my life dancing above in the starry sky. It’d been waiting years to travel far away to climb mountains, I’d tossed away a lot, burned a few bridges here and there and lived in sleeping bags for a long long time and all that weight fell away and washed down the nearby sewer. I was here. And now as I sit in the low valley waiting for weather windows up high, I’ve never been happier with the choices I’ve made that have led me this way. That Southern Cross sure did pack a punch. (And yes the weather totally sucks right now 😂). #OnwardAndUpward 🧞‍♂️💥🤺 Photo by @pebbleshoo #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @revo @giverjh @backpackerspantry @eliteclimb

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chrisbrinleejr

Two bluebird days were forecast before a big storm; on the hike into Mount Earnslaw, it started to feel a lot like summer--except for the 60 pounds of stuff on my back: Mountaineering gear, skis, and a packraft. Fortunately after the first couple of hours I could cache the raft by the Rees River before our 1,800m (6,000 feet) vertical hike up to the hut. It was just a test run, after all. No sense in carrying it all up just to carry it back down to the same place. Want to see more from this trip? Check out #AspiringToAoraki vlog Episode 1. Link in my profile. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountEarnslaw

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bennylieb

Oh jeez I love it here... Chilly morning kept toasty by @rab.equipment. Pants: Rab Torque. Hard shell: Rab Mantra. Puffy: Rab Microlight Summit. (This jacket is all-time, no stitching between baffles, packs very small, unexplainably warm). A nifty kit for a cold alpine morning!! Thanks Rab! Photo by @pebbleshoo 🧞‍♂️💥🤺 #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab #10YOn @cilogear_official @eliteclimb @giverjh @backpackerspantry @revo

4

alpacka_raft

We are stoked to be sponsoring this adventure! RepostBy @chrisbrinleejr: "A lot of peers and colleagues questioned my intentions when I announced that I was moving to New Zealand for a year. Moving to the edge of the world may have seemed like career suicide, but for this aspiring alpinist, it felt like the best way forward. Where else could I live and work as an American freelancer in a civilized town; have access to mountains with 3,000m (almost 10,000 feet) of prominence (truly Himalayan in scale;) climb long alpine ice routes; and then packraft out--without driving more than a couple of hours from the house? Wanaka, New Zealand became @thewildindiangirl’s and my home for this year; for the last six months I’ve been living with intention: planning these missions out; training every day; and developing my skills. Now, the plan is coming together: for the next few months, from now until December, I’ll take on some of New Zealand’s greatest mountains by their technical routes. From Mount #AspiringToAoraki and a handful in-between. Climbing, skiing, and packrafting--living out my multi-sport mountain dreams. I’ll be sharing every step of the journey, so if you’re keen follow along! Check out the link in my profile to watch and see more. Stoked to be getting after it with @bennylieb, @moonmountainman, @pebbleshoo, @ryaann_c, @classy_jack, and more! #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #ThisisPackrafting

2

bennylieb

Sunrise on Mt French. My first morning in NZ’s southern alps- what a beautiful place they’ve got down here. Very chilly up high, and very warm down low in the rainforest. Pretty cool contrast. Also... our route on the south face of Aspiring isn’t quite ready, we got a look at it on this day. We’ll be back for it soon! #AspiringToAoraki #WeAreRab #10YOn @rab.equipment @cilogear_official @giverjh @backpackerspantry @eliteclimb @revo

5

thekiwiapproach

After 5 days on my feet and carrying these all the while it was good to sit down for a couple hours. Even if we were being threatened by a big old storm.. 📸 @moonmountainman #aspiringtoaoraki #packrafting #alpacaraft #mtcooknationalpark #laketasman #newzealand #thisispackrafting

7

chrisbrinleejr

A strong aerobic base is absolutely critical to success in mountaineering; the best way to build that base is through running--lots of running. For the last few months, I’ve been wearing gear from @runjanji during my training for #AspiringToAoraki; I’m stoked to be partnering with them to host a giveaway. For a chance to win: •Follow @runjanji •Like this image •Tag a buddy •Comment your favorite running experience You have one week to enter; they’ll pick a winner on Friday. 📷: @thewildindiangirl #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #TrainingForTheNewAlpinism

51

chrisbrinleejr

From Mount Brewster’s ridgeline, @brandoyelavichexplorer and I were rewarded with the most excellent views--the Southern Alps, in all of their grandeur, stretched as far as we could see in any direction; once we made the summit, we were atop the highest point around. Want to see more from our Mount Brewster climb? Check out my Story. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountBrewster

19

chrisbrinleejr

Shortly before reaching the base of the South Face of Mount Brewster (2515m, 8,251 feet) I gave @brandoyelavichexplorer some simple instruction: “The key to a one-hundred percent successful self arrest is to not fall.” I think he took it to heart, because soon we were confidently simul-soling up steep snow on the winter face. The snow was soft but supportive; my aerobic training began kicking in. Instead of the summer route which follows a gully to the lowest saddle before taking the ridgeline up, we made a direct assault on the face. It was some of the finest snow climbing I had ever done. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountBrewster

27

chrisbrinleejr

New Zealand’s alpine terrain can be pretty overwhelming. There’s so much of it (the Southern Alps basically cover the entire length of the South Island;) it’s incredibly complex; and oftentimes, it’s difficult to access. After hours spent combing through guidebooks and poring over maps, I still had no idea where to start. So, I asked my friend and Kiwi mountaineering expert @wanakarock for direction. His response: “Go climb Mount Brewster. No questions asked.” I only asked one, but it wasn’t directed at Llewellyn. @brandoyelavichexplorer has done a lot of things. He’s walked around the entire coast of New Zealand, living off the land as he went; he’s hucked backflips on a snowboard; and he’s fished from the sea--but he had never been mountaineering. When I offered to show him the ropes, Brando agreed to accompany me almost instantly. When a twenty-four hour window presented itself, we packed up our gear, loaded our skis, and went for a 60 minute drive from our houses (we’re neighbors) to the trailhead. We hiked up 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) into the night until reaching Brewster Hut. Nine hours later, we watched the sun come up; it was my first time actually seeing the alpine from elevation since moving to New Zealand five months before. I was enamored in the moment, but we had a long way to go. #AspiringToAoraki #NewZealand #Mountaineering #Alpinism #MountBrewster

11

shadowstaley

@bennylieb remember that time we took off one morning & drove 600mi roundtrip to climb the northface of 27mi 🗻 in Thompson's Pass, which included a ton of AI3 ice on the way up to my first summit in Alaska!?? Oh & all bc I couldnt stop thinking about that beta @taylorb907 sent us so I just decided to wake ya butt up at 3am🔦 & say "Lets Get it"🤣!! Then you were like "dang it Stephen 😫" so I replied "Umm 🤨👉🏼 Now" 😂. Then off we went, had an amazing time & rocked all the way back🤘🏼🎑..Why!? Because we're teammates & that's what we do for eachother & thats what you did for me that day & I'll always remember it 🙏.. So now onward to your next journey #aspiringtoaoraki ✈where the mountains are magnificent & the ice is steep. Good luck my friend🍀 climb high 🧗🏾‍♂️ & thanks for showing me the ropes up here in the #lastfrontier this summer. I'll keep the tools sharp🤘🏼⚔💥 . . . . . #thedarknight #alaska #chugachmountains #climbing #iceclimbing #newzealand #teamwork #friends #climbingpartner #glaciers #workhard #summit #summit2018 #travel #northface

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bennylieb

Alas, the time has come. I’m en route to the airport for my first international climbing trip: #AspiringToAoraki. Not too sure how to explain how I’m feeling... but this #AlpineUnicorn and quote in photo 2 pretty much sums up what’s going on here. At some point in your life you’re going to have to meet that ram head on, the ram of life, love, ambition, existence and purpose and you’re gonna have to buck the f*** up!!! And yes, I packed my saddle. A massive thank you to my partners for all the support and getting me ready for far away hills and tales from down under... See you soon @chrisbrinleejr 🤠🙏💥🤺#SaddleUpSon #WeAreRab @rab.equipment @revo @giverjh @cilogear_official @eliteclimb @petzl_official @backpackerspantry @powerbar

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