crystalann_b A most intriguing place to watch dawn light up the mountains - the summit of Mount Ollivier in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park after a night spent on the rocky plateau near the Mueller Hut. Can't get enough of these views! @danieljward #Aoraki #MountOllivier #TeWahipounamu #NewZealand #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife 3w

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crystalann_b I keep coming back to this place. A special kind of magic dwells here that can only be found on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. This visit was on an autumn morning a few weeks ago with @danieljward #exploremore #NewZealand #whatgivesyoulife #TeWahipounamu #LakeMatheson 3w

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crystalann_b I'd always like to greet the day this way. @danieljward #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife #NewZealand #RoysPeak 1mon

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crystalann_b Sometimes the sky erupts in fire and I actually have my camera to capture it! After shooting along the Wainui Falls track for the day I had a feeling that the sun might go down in brilliant color so I raced along the Taupo Point coastal route to this spot where the waves crashed against the rocks. The light kept getting better and better and the rocky headland glowed like a small mountain on the coast. Crashing waves and vibrant color plus time to take it all in make for a memorable moment documenting the place I currently call home. #NewZealand #AbelTasman #nelsonshines #newzealandfinds #whatgivesyoulife #exploremore #wild #GoldenBay 2mon

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crystalann_b First light in the forest - morning sun gleams through the branches of a red beech forest in Abel Tasman National Park. Much of my time is spent observing the intricacies of the New Zealand forest whether for work or during backcountry trips, yet I rarely stop to photograph what I experience. On this morning I was shooting for a project and therefore spent time seeing the elements of the forest in the context of photography. It was an eye-opening experience that deviated from what I usually spend my time doing. Composing shots in "the bush" is tricky and I still need a lot of practice but I hope the vivid greens, golden light, and towering trees speak for themselves. A place of quiet contemplation and mystique juxtaposed against soft light and brilliant rays. #NewZealand #exploremore #newzealandfinds #whatgivesyoulife #nelsonshines #AbelTasman 2mon

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crystalann_b A peaceful, pale dawn illuminates Lake Rotoiti as mist rises and birds call. A beautiful morning to wake at Coldwater Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park after a night spent with friends doing what we love! #NewZealand #NelsonLakes #nelsonshines #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #newzealandfinds #exploremore #Rotoiti 2mon

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crystalann_b Wainui Falls and spectacular granite in Abel Tasman National Park - I'm currently working on a photo project that's forcing me out of my comfort zone and into the forest to capture a different element of beauty. #NewZealand #AbelTasman #exploremore #nelsonshines #newzealandfinds #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture 3mon

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crystalann_b While shooting in Abel Tasman National Park for a project this weekend I happened on this jagged rocky headland and impressive sunset! A close to home shot that depicts the beauty of Golden Bay. #NewZealand #exploremore #AbelTasman #nelsonshines #newzealandfinds #whatgivesyoulife 3mon

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crystalann_b The sun crests the mountainous horizon and gives light to the alpine plateau on which I spent the night this past Tuesday. What a treat to wake up to this! Kahurangi at its best. #NewZealand #Kahurangi #whatgivesyoulife #exploremore #thisistramping #wilderness_culture #wild #realmiddleearth 3mon

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crystalann_b A different perspective for today - high clouds over the ranges of Fiordland as seen from Gertrude Saddle. #NewZealand #Fiordland #wild #wilderness_culture #thisistramping #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife 3mon

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crystalann_b I just read somewhere that magic happens when the moon and mountains meet - I couldn't agree more! The intricacies of this landscape may not be readily apparent over Instagram but the experience of this place is something that I won't soon forget. The night before last I stood here alone on the summit of Mount Gibbs in my park (Kahurangi) after making a quick spur-of-the-moment afternoon climb. I didn't know if I'd make it in time for sunset but thankfully I did. Just as the sun dipped behind a sea of mountains and clouds to the west, the moon rose to the east. The sunset burned orange even after the sun was down so that the reflected light illuminated the summit and the ridgeline of Xenicus. A perfect full moon, mountain ranges tinted blue and orange, and complete calm - not a sound was heard in any direction. Ordinary wonders that go on whether I'm there to experience them or not. It's my goal to absorb as many as possible. #NewZealand #Kahurangi #whatgivesyoulife #exploremore #thisistramping #wilderness_culture #wild 3mon

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crystalann_b Golden sea mist just before sundown at my favorite beach in the world - Wharariki - at the tip top of the wild West Coast. #NewZealand #Wharariki #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife 3mon

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crystalann_b A veiled sunset between cloud layers as deep red light illuminates the summits of the Ben Ohau Range. We found ourselves with this view as the last light of evening smoldered slowly behind the hills. What had been a grey cloudy day suddenly yielded to a surprising display of color. Matt and I dashed across the rocks of Mount Wakefield's summit with our cameras hoping to catch the show. For us, this made camping on the summit during the wild stormy night to follow quite worth it. Sorry about your tent, Will!! @wmolland #NewZealand #Aoraki #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #thisistramping 3mon

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crystalann_b Walking into a valley crowned with sheer precipices on all sides; climbing higher and higher over rock slabs beside trickling waterfalls to reach this saddle tucked away between rock walls - to the right, left and below. Everything I've ever read about Fiordland comes to life in a place like this. A landscape of rock and sparkling snow. Each towering summit stands on a blockade of rock that has been scoured to an impossible angle. A land that appears best suited for creatures with wings.
This is what I contemplate from our campsite on Gertrude Saddle as evening light falls on Mount Crosscut and Black Lake. #NewZealand #exploremore #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #thisistramping #Fiordland
3mon

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crystalann_b Climbing to the lip of the rocky basin that holds Crucible Lake, I was met with a sweeping view of turquoise water and more icebergs than I've ever seen. I half-knew what to expect but was nevertheless shocked by the actual sight. After a long day of ascending Gillespie Pass from the Young Valley to reach the wonderland of the Siberia Valley and climb again into the basin that holds Crucible - this view was the crowning achievement. Will was patient enough to entertain my idea of sleeping above this lake with sleeping bags tossed haphazardly onto the grass beneath the stars. Thankfully, the fine weather held and I enjoyed this pure, golden light from a cozy spot on a rock in my sleeping bag with a cup of coffee - perhaps the only time landscape photography has felt luxurious! I took in the view for hours with only the company of three rock wren (hurupounamu). It was easy to memorize every detail - from the ribbon-thin waterfalls, to the encircling mountains, to the thundering snowfalls. This is my dreamscape. #NewZealand #thisistramping #wilderness_culture #whatgivesyoulife #exploremore #Aspiring 3mon

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crystalann_b I love unexpected photo opportunities that arise as a result of being in the right place at the right time. This was one such opportunity that presented itself on the narrow rocky ridge of Mount Wakefield as we were making our way down in the cold rain after packing up a soggy campsite. I had buried my camera in a waterproof bag in my pack and had planned on a quick "head down" descent into the valley below. Surprisingly, I noticed light to my left and looked up to this scene of golden rays dazzling the Tasman Valley. The illuminated falling rain, glistening mountain slopes, and bright surface of Tasman Lake dotted with glacial icebergs caused me to stop where I stood and grab my camera. Every detail of this image resonates with my experience and love of the New Zealand mountains - utterly grand valleys, braided rivers, and sharp peaks that coalesce in the wonderland of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Just right to inspire more adventurous aims and stoke the fire of exploration. Give me more of this!!!! #Aoraki #NewZealand #exploremore #adventure #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #thisistramping 4mon

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crystalann_b The last few weeks have been filled with non-stop immersion in the New Zealand mountains! So much so that I've hardly been able to keep up. There are many trips, experiences, and photos to process - plenty to keep me busy for awhile. I'll do my best to share what I can when I can while still pursuing more adventure. I've decided that I love the simplicity and challenge of walking in the mountains, of taking the path less traveled (if at all) and of finding my own way based on clues in the landscape. I love being ruled only by the weather, terrain, and the rising and setting of the sun. I am continually astounded at the beauty I discover with each intricate detail of wild places uncovered. Despite the difficulty of route finding, the drudgery of a long day spent slogging in the rain, the pain of hauling myself up a bush-clad cliff, or the fear of falling on exposed rock slabs - I keep coming back for more. There's something here that's worth working for. This is what I hope to capture in words and photos. It isn't always glamorous and often far from it but it is always what I seek - even when I don't know it myself.

I experienced all of the above conditions on my recent 5 day traverse of the Douglas Range yet I also witnessed this sunrise, improbably steep terrain undimmed in grandeur, and a brilliant meteor at dawn on the first day of 2016. I wouldn't have it any other way. #Kahurangi #NewZealand #nelsonshines #wilderness_culture #whatgivesyoulife #adventure #exploremore
5mon

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crystalann_b Where I was hiding for the first week of 2016 - a five day, four night traverse of the Douglas Range in Kahurangi over the rugged and formidable Dragons Teeth (pictured). What a view to start 2016! #Kahurangi #DragonsTeeth #NewZealand #exploremore #adventure #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #nelsonshines 5mon

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crystalann_b The Gates
The view down the steep-walled valley to Milford Sound from the finest campsite I've had the privilege to make. Gertrude Saddle in Fiordland epitomizes what I love most about this landscape. The sheerest of cliffs, thundering waterfalls, snow-crowned peaks, deep lakes, twisted forest, and fiords reaching into the Tasman Sea. This is what I search for.

#NewZealand #thisistramping #exploremore #adventure #whatgivesyoulife #wilderness_culture #Fiordland
5mon

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crystalann_b After a week of working on the Heaphy Track I am headed south yet again - more pictures coming at ya soon!! **Pictured: Lake Barra and the Southern Alps of Aotearoa** #MountAspiringNP #NewZealand #wilderness_culture #whatgivesyoulife #adventure #exploremore #thisistramping 5mon

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