I really am quite a fortunate soul. It seems that wherever I happen upon crazy ideas for adventures, I also happen upon the people to bring them to fruition with. My life is one that is filled with experiences and people that deliver meaning and joy, and for that I am grateful. I was having one such conversation with my friends Claire and Ben a couple of weeks ago (in amongst the obligatory discussion of how 9-5 work is a necessary evil to fund gear purchases). We were on our way up Tongariro in the early afternoon on a beautiful sunny day to do some camping and stargazing. I spend a lot of time up the three peaks in Tongariro National Park (as you may have noticed), and it never ceases to amaze me how much it differs from trip to trip... There is, without exception, something new to be seen or experienced each time I go up there, and it's a fantastic "training ground" for me. Having only spent my first season playing in the snow last year (and discovering how much I loved it), I have made it my mission to gradually put together a "tool box" of the skills and gear I need to keep enjoying adventures in the mountains and hopefully, eventually, pass those skills onto others so they may also enjoy the experiences which I hold so dear to my heart. The Ruapehu area is the perfect place to work on these skills, and I have come to know the terrain pretty well... It's like my little adventure playground just down the road.