crystalann_b Another look at Lake Matheson from my sunrise visit on the second of January - I like this image and the long exposure shot I posted a few months ago so I figured it was about time to share this! **I also want to express my highest gratitude to @theoutbound for including me in their list of Instagram's Most Inspirational Outdoor Women** What an honor! Check out the link below to see all the accounts mentioned!
https://www.theoutbound.com/articles/instagram-s-most-inspirational-outdoor-women
1w

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crystalann_b Evening on the gloriously empty beaches of Farewell Spit in the far north of New Zealand's South Island #FarewellSpit #nzmustdo #newzealandfinds #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure 2w
  •   theyoungnrestless One of the few places we haven't explored! Just beautiful. 2w
  •   crystalann_b It's great!! If you ever happen to have the chance to stay in the lighthouse keeper's house - do it! Staying overnight is awesome. @theyoungnrestless 2w
  •   theyoungnrestless That sounds amazing! The last two summers we got a beach house right by there, but never ventured out onto the spit. It's one of my favorite places in the south island, I'm just sad we're moving back to the states in six weeks and won't be coming back :( 2w
  •   tommijss gooody! 2w
  •   crystalann_b Ah I totally understand the feeling! I'm moving back this next week and I'm definitely not ready. @theyoungnrestless 2w
  •   nikonej Amazing Crystal! Hope your journey finds you well!! 🏼🏼 1w
  •   crystalann_b Thank you! @nikonej 1w

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crystalann_b Here's one from February that I have yet to share - sunset over the Franz Josef Glacier as seen from the Almer Hut. It's incredible how close the glaciers on the West Coast are to the sea despite their years of retreat. I never cease to be fascinated by glaciers! The Tasman Sea is visible in the top center of this photo. **Side note** I've accepted a position in ↟↟Katmai National Park and Preserve↟↟ and will be spending the northern summer living off the grid amidst brown bears on the Alaskan Peninsula! I won't have cell phone service at all but will continue to share my photos on my Facebook page thanks to a few shared work computers run by generator. Click on the link in my bio and follow along as I explore the Alaskan wilderness and live a life that has more in common with decades past. #nzmustdo #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure 2w

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crystalann_b The Milky Way over the Mount Brown Hut near Lake Kaniere and Hokitika on New Zealand's wild West Coast - this little gem is perched just above treeline and offers sweeping views of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. #MtBrownHut #remotehuts #nzmustdo #NewZealand #newzealandfinds #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure 3w

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crystalann_b Another view over the Barker Hut far below from the vantage point of an unnamed peak we climbed for sunrise. What an exceptional landscape of alpine giants!
I've just learned that my photo and "Outbound Adventure" write-up for the Routeburn Track has made it on Huffington Post as #9 to add to your bucket list! Check it out:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-outbound-collective/14-adventures-to-add-to-your-bucket-list-assap_b_6997844.html
3w

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Normal Crystal Brindle
crystalann_b Here's one that I've finally gotten around to sharing - This view overlooking the Almer Glacier at sunset is only a few steps from the New Zealand Alpine Club owned Almer Hut which is perched high on a rocky outcrop beside the neve of Franz Josef Glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. This photo is from my February adventure in Franz Josef that still ranks as one of my most memorable in New Zealand. **Although I know this link isn't active on instagram I'd like to share a recent article on the GrindTV.com that I was a part of: http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/excursions/post/warning-photos-may-cause-new-zealand-envy/

Type this into your browser to see more photos from this trip and my other favorites across southern New Zealand. All of the details about getting to these locations yourself are included in the captions!** #nzmustdo #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure
3w

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crystalann_b Early morning rays filter into the White River Valley and illuminate the Cahill Glacier and the Shaler Range. A perfect vantage point to greet the day! #nzmustdo #NewZealand #newzealandfinds #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure @macpac 4w
  •   rms.art Awesome 4w
  •   youngadventuress Wow! You've had some great adventures! Are you ever in wanaka? 4w
  •   slim_sultan @fr33zth4mom3nt, GOOD MORNING 4w
  •   crystalann_b Hi Liz! I've had a fantastic time so far in New Zealand! I read your blog before arriving and still do today! I'm based in Takaka so it's hard for me to get down south on a regular basis but I have on a few occasions. I wish I could attend the Wanaka instameet! Looks like it will be fabulous! I'm leaving the country at the end of the month but hope to return in October and work for DOC in the southern parks. I envy you for living in Wanaka! It's my favorite town in NZ! @youngadventuress 3w
  •   youngadventuress Are you sure you can't come?! You can always crash at my place! 3w
  •   crystalann_b I so appreciate the offer! I just looked at who is on the list so far and now want to go more than ever!! It's at the very end of my weekend before I go back to work on Tuesday and I'm dramatically over my leased car kilometer limit, but I'll see what I can do!! Enjoy the heck out of it anyway if I don't see you! Looks like a great venue to showcase your know-how! @youngadventuress 3w
  •   youngadventuress Come come come!! 3w

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crystalann_b Mount Speight and the remote river valley beneath as seen from an unnamed summit above the Barker Hut in Arthur's Pass National Park #NewZealand #nzmustdo #newzealandfinds #neverstopexploring #whateveryouradventure #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture 4w

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crystalann_b I have finally made it to every national park on the South Island! For no particular reason, it took me a very long time to make it to Arthur's Pass National Park located in the very heart of the Southern Alps. This weekend I joined a great group of friends on a trip to the highest hut in the park - the Canterbury Mountaineering Club's Barker Hut. We spent three days walking through the rocky river beds of the Waimakariri and White Rivers and stayed at both Carrington and Barker Huts. The Barker Hut is perched in a seemingly precarious position on the moraine debris of two glaciers and is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the park on all sides. This photo was taken from a rocky slope high above the hut and includes the Cahill Glacier, the Shaler Range, and the White River Valley. The bright red hut is just barely visible beside a small tarn. #nzmustdo #NewZealand #newzealandfinds #whateveryouradventure @macpac 4w

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crystalann_b Here's one from our Mount Earnslaw climb that I was finally able to process - our camp on night two (thanks for putting your tent in such a perfect spot @gangstamari !) above Kea Basin on the flanks of Mount Earnslaw with the Forbes Mountains and Grant Glacier in the background. Mount Aspiring is also visible far in the distance. I was quite happy to break the 8,000 foot descent into two days! We camped here after summiting that morning and then continued down to the Rees Valley the following day. What a spot! I'd have to describe this as my ideal campsite... #nzmustdo #NewZealand #whateveryouradventure @macpac 1mon

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crystalann_b Pluto Peak and cloud filled valleys under moonlight - I captured this photo just outside of the Esquilant Biv which rests in the high basin beneath Mount Earnslaw or Pikirakatahi in Mount Aspiring National Park on Wednesday night. Our two night, three day venture in the Rees Valley began on Wednesday morning with a stroll along the river flats that quickly turned into a grueling 6,000 foot climb for the last three miles. We started up the slopes of Kea Basin in late afternoon and as a result ended up crossing a snowfield and the Birley Glacier under moonlight. It was a challenging yet incredibly rewarding day. I geared up with crampons and an ice axe for the first time to cross the icy sections leading to the Esquilant Biv. The small hut was a welcome site when we finally arrived at 10 pm.
After a much needed rest, we began the summit climb the next morning. A mostly straightforward scramble brought us to the 2830 meter or 9284 foot summit of Pikirakatahi's East Peak. This is the second tallest peak in Mount Aspiring National Park and the tallest south until you reach Antarctica. The view from the summit was absolutely spectacular as we were surrounded by massive glaciated peaks and plunging valleys. It was incredible to stand on the spine of New Zealand - the Southern Alps. This was my biggest summit goal in New Zealand and I'm so happy to have it complete! #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #whateveryouradventure @macpac #EsquilantBiv #MountEarnslaw
2mon

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crystalann_b The historic Almer Hut on a rocky outcrop overlooking the neve of Franz Josef Glacier high in the Southern Alps under a clear night sky.
Where do I even begin?! This photo was made possible by an extremely spur of the moment decision to hike out from Mount Brown Hut a day early and drive down to Franz Josef Glacier. I had absolutely no plan upon arrival but went because staying in one of the huts near the glacier was at the top of my goal list for my time in New Zealand. Worried that I might not have a chance to revisit the glaciers, I decided to do everything that I could to accomplish this goal. However, I found that I couldn't do much. Aside from a private charter helicopter flight or a technical climb up the glacier, it looked as though I had no option of staying even remotely close to where I wanted. Seriously disheartened, I decided to walk into one of the helicopter offices across the street to confirm that there was in fact no other option. Long story short I found an opportunity to fly up to the Almer Hut for the night as they were flying in to pick up a heli-hiking group anyway.

I was joined by Trevor whose great company and enthusiasm for photography made for plenty of fun conversations while shooting hundreds of images for a timelapse well into the night. I hadn't spent this much time stargazing in months and it was incredibly rewarding to photograph the night sky again. And what a place to do this! Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is recognized for its limited light pollution and the grand Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks provide the most impressive alpine landscapes in New Zealand. Spending the night under this brilliant sky was nothing short of the most magical experience I've had so far in New Zealand! #NZmustDO #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #nzhuts #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wonderful_places #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure @macpac
2mon

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crystalann_b I just returned from my first backcountry trip on the wild West Coast of the South Island! I drove down to Hokitika on my first day off this week planning to stay at Mount Brown Hut for two nights but instead ended up staying only one night and traveling further south to the glacier region on the following day. I decided to take full advantage of the incredible weather I found in this region that is known for its severe rain. Whether rain or shine, there's hardly a better place to be in New Zealand than this sparsely populated rugged coastline and rainforest that hugs the slopes of the Southern Alps.

The climb to Mount Brown Hut was short and incredibly steep! I clung to roots and vines as I pulled myself up the small and muddy path that travels directly up the slopes of Mount Brown just outside of Hokitika. This trail and hut are unique because they are maintained solely by a volunteer group. The group's dedication has produced a singular hut experience through its work to locate Mount Brown Hut in a stunning alpine location. They couldn't have made a better choice! Once above the twisting and vibrant rata forest, the views encompass wide mountain ranges, Lake Kaniere, sparkling river valleys, and the sweeping extent of the Tasman Sea. I enjoyed a spectacular cloudless evening, stargazing, and a comfortable stay in the hut before rising early for the descent. It's easy to see why this hut is pictured in many calendars and showcased on the front of "Shelter from the Storm." I'm quite happy to have made it to this legendary hut!
#NZmustDO #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #nzhuts #Hokitika #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure
2mon

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crystalann_b Mount Cook towers over the surrounding landscape as seen from Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier.
A few of my recent hiking adventures have been shared on @theoutbound - check out their website for the background story on how to get to many of the locations I've photographed! #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure #exploremore
3mon

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crystalann_b The summit of 1490 meter Trident in Kahurangi National Park with the rugged Dragon's Teeth as a backdrop. #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #Trident #Kahurangi #moretoexplore #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure @macpac 3mon

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crystalann_b Evening calm at Adelaide Tarn deep in the heart of Kahurangi National Park

After a warm day broken by periods of thick fog I was glad to see the sunset clearly illuminate the peaks surrounding Adelaide Tarn. Only thirty minutes before taking this photo fog was spilling through the window of the hut and the basin was completely hidden in a veil of thick white. The clouds lifted just in time for sunset and then rolled back in. I included the small hut in the photo because the scene so accurately captures classic New Zealand tramping and the extensive hut system that dominates the backcountry. This hut was the first "basic" hut I've stayed in and certainly has its own character.
Making it to this spot was quite the adventure! We hiked in thick fog and oppressive humidity to Boulder Lake and arrived just as the clouds lifted slightly to reveal the hut on the far side of the lake. We went for a dip in a perfect swimming hole beneath a picturesque waterfall before settling in for the night. The next day we bashed our way through tussock and forest to the scrubby ridge leading to Adelaide Tarn. The first view of the Adelaide Tarn basin framed by the rugged Dragon's Teeth is a beautiful sight to behold. After spending time at the tarn we climbed up to the summits of Trident and Mount Douglas and waited for a view of the surrounding mountains on the tops that appeared to be islands in a sea of clouds. What a great experience in what is possibly the most beautiful part of the park! #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wonderful_places #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure #moretoexplore
3mon

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crystalann_b Another view from the vantage point of Mount Olivier - the length of the Mueller Glacier and the peaks above in the first light of dawn #NewZealand #moretoexplore #neverstopexploring #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure 3mon

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crystalann_b Golden morning clouds over Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, the two tallest peaks in New Zealand, reflected in Lake Matheson as captured from Reflection Island.
After visiting this famed lake last year and seeing nothing but grey clouds, I was ecstatic to find this scene on last Friday's visit. I tried to make Thursday a perfect photography day by shooting the sunrise at the Mueller Hut and then driving 6 hours to Lake Matheson for sunset. Although @wmolland and I pushed the limits of speed over Haast Pass we arrived with little time to spare and found the mountains obscured in cloud. I then had to take the second best option and go for sunrise. I awoke to find the jagged peaks crowned by a backdrop of glowing red clouds and quickly made my way around the twisting forest path of the lake. I found another photographer at Reflection Island who had a motion controlled timelapse set up - how awesome! We both watched as a cool grey dawn turned to gold as the sun rose. The drifting mist off the lake surface added a special element as did the many bird calls and flights across the lake. What an ideal place to bring in the second day of the new year! Each time I visit the glacier region I am astounded by the deep valleys and the dramatic rise of the Southern Alps from the sea. As with every place I visit, a walk to the terminal face of these glaciers or a morning spent at Lake Matheson reminds me of why I chose to come to this far off country that was so unlike anything I had seen before yet so full of the best lifestyles and landscapes one could imagine. In this new year I'm feeling settled with my life in New Zealand and embracing adventure and discovery at every turn. #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure
4mon

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crystalann_b A grand morning spent among giants - Mount Sefton, the Footstool, and Aoraki as seen from Mount Olivier in Mount Cook National Park #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #wearethewild #whatgivesyoulife #wonderful_places #wildernessculture #wearealladventurers #whateveryouradventure @macpac 4mon

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Normal Crystal Brindle
crystalann_b The Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park set against a perfect backdrop of majestic peaks - Mount Sefton, the Footstool, and the tallest of all, Aoraki. I was fortunate enough to bring in the new year from this fine vantage point on the ridge of Mount Olivier. As one of the first countries in the world to greet the day, watching the sunrise in New Zealand has special significance. The first morning of 2015 did not disappoint. We hiked to the Mueller Hut on New Year's Eve in drenching rain that turned to snow as we climbed in elevation. My rain gear did not stand up to the conditions and I was soaked upon arrival. Climbing 2,000 steps, hiking through gushing streams, and jumping waterfalls soaked my boots to the core. We were warned by visitor center staff that a few people had turned around due to the conditions but we decided to push on in order to be at the location for the forecasted clear weather the next day. The snow didn't stop until sometime in the night and I was worried that the scramble to the summit of Mount Olivier would prove challenging. However, when I woke at 5 a.m. I found perfectly clear skies and crisp air. To my surprise almost everyone in the hut woke before sunrise and climbed part way up the ridge. The enthusiasm for the sunrise was contagious and I hurried to a high point on the ridge with my friend. We watched as the tallest peaks in the land caught the first pink glow and listened to the crashing icefalls from the hanging glaciers all around us. The raw power of this landscape was evident everywhere we looked. The Mueller Glacier filled the valley beneath us and waterfalls poured from sheer cliffs above. The western view from the ridge encompassed range after range of mountains and opened to braided rivers glowing with light and shimmering Lake Pukaki to the east. Without a doubt the most impressive landscape I have experienced.
This photo only shows one piece of this fabulous landscape and falls short of representing its full glory. I'll post more over the next few days that will help piece together what I experienced on this morning. #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wearethewild #wildernessculture
4mon

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