crystalann_b One from the recent archives - early morning reflections as seen from the Barker Hut. I'm posting today because I'm about to board a floatplane to fly to my wilderness duty station for the summer. I'll be stationed at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park and Preserve without wifi or phone service. This off the grid lifestyle will make it difficult to post but I still plan to try! Here's to the adventure! ↟↟ 3w
  •   island808bebe 3w
  •   anclgo Hope you enjoy and thanks sharing lovely pics 3w
  •   flow397 Wow @crystalann_b we can't get enough of your feed 3w
  •   flow397 The national parks & public lands are our passion. We donate $3.97 to the parks with every item sold. Live Give Be Fulfilled @crystalann_b 3w
  •   flow397 How soon are you heading to AK? Our brand is going to be sold on few is the AK visitor centers this year, not Katmai though 3w
  •   crystalann_b @flow397 I'm here now! You should get some of your merchandise at Brooks Camp! 1w
  •   flow397 Does Alaska Geographic run the stores there? Unfortunately AG is not able to bring us on until next year now, too much inventory already bought. We have an awesome grizzly design too. If it's not Alaska Geographic, do you know who is the concessionaire there, we would love to contact them?? @crystalann_b 1w

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crystalann_b I have made it to Alaska! I took at least 100 photos on the flight in of stunning coastline, forested islands, and endless ranges of white mountains. I saw rivers of ice larger than any glacier I've seen before and counted more from the plane than I've seen in my life. All of this and I've only been in the state for a few hours! #Alaska #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure #neverstopexploring 1mon

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crystalann_b Morning on the Hooker Valley track looking east toward Mount Cook Village. A spectacular morning spent in the shadow of the tallest peaks in the land. #nzmustdo #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure #RealMiddleEarth #Aoraki 1mon

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crystalann_b I have to share my favorite picture from my time in New Zealand - this shot of Lake Mackenzie. I've posted this image on my Facebook page but have hesitated to share it in cropped form because the full vertical version adds so much more to the scene. But, since it's my favorite, here it is! As I've explained in a previous post - this trip to Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks was instrumental in setting the stage for the rest of my adventures over my (almost) seven months in New Zealand. I had been away from the country for almost a year and it was this trip that reminded me of why I had returned. I almost didn't get this shot because I did everything wrong. I set off too late for pre-dawn glow and had a hard time securing my tripod in the shallow lake water. I then left before the most impressive clouds formed in the valley. Despite my efforts to seemingly ruin my chances of getting a decent photo I managed to capture this. I tried a vertical composition which is something I usually shy away from and used heavier polarization than I normally do. The combination yielded an image that is really special to me. I expected to find nothing during post processing and instead stumbled across this photo. To me it speaks to the landscape's ability to display its true colors, regardless of human intervention. From this experience I've learned that it's best not to get in the way when nature unveils her wonders. #NewZealand #neverstopexploring #nzmustdo #Fiordland #RouteburnTrack #RealMiddleEarth #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure 1mon

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crystalann_b A classic New Zealand scene - sheep and towering mountains! I captured this shot of Mount Tasman above the Fox Glacier township on my way back to the holiday park after shooting sunrise at Lake Matheson. I pulled over on the side of the road because of this light! It isn't often that you'll find me taking shots from the road, but in this case it was worth it. #NewZealand #nzmustdo #newzealandfinds #neverstopexploring #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure #RealMiddleEarth #WestCoast 1mon

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crystalann_b Path to the summit of Olivier - I took this photo as the sun crested the mountains to the east at sunrise from the summit ridge of Mount Olivier in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park after a night spent in the Mueller Hut. We hiked to the Mueller Hut the day before in a terrible storm and woke to find fresh snow on the high peaks. The contrast of the perfectly calm morning to the raging storm of the day before only furthered my appreciation and respect for the Southern Alps and the weather they create. #NewZealand #nzmustdo #neverstopexploring #RealMiddleEarth #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure #takemebackpacking 1mon

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crystalann_b I am now back in the U.S. awaiting the start of my next adventure in Alaska. Until then I'll be sharing a few overlooked photos from New Zealand. This is the incredibly intriguing Valley of the Trolls and Lake Harris as seen from the Routeburn Track. This photo was taken in November although I didn't get the chance to explore this valley until two months ago on my second visit to this area. It's a stunning valley strewn with large boulders and filled with the sounds of gushing waterfalls. On my visit we saw three endangered Whio or Blue Ducks swimming near the inlet of the lake. These endemic birds are a privilege to see as there are only perhaps 2,500 in the world. #NewZealand #nzmustdo #neverstopexploring #RouteburnTrack #GreatWalks #whatgivesyoulife #wildernessculture #whateveryouradventure #RealMiddleEarth 1mon

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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
2mon

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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 2mon
  •   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 2mon
  •   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 :( 2mon
  •   tommijss gooody! 2mon
  •   crystalann_b Ah I totally understand the feeling! I'm moving back this next week and I'm definitely not ready. @theyoungnrestless 2mon
  •   nikonej Amazing Crystal! Hope your journey finds you well!! 🏼🏼 2mon
  •   crystalann_b Thank you! @nikonej 2mon
  •   victorofvalencia Gorgeous shot 1mon
  •   crystalann_b Thanks! :) @victorofvalencia 1mon

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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 2mon
  •   alfredodejuan1 Well, I'm going to miss your pics and I hope you'll have the chance to share some photos of this adventure in Alaska, but have fun! And great shot!! 2mon
  •   paolospalice Great Great Great! 2mon
  •   chuckd21x Really great shot 2mon
  •   nigelych @crystalann_b Cool! All the best to your adventures 2mon
  •   miyoko808 Good fun, keep well, and I look forward to your postings when you return. All the best! ️😀 2mon
  •   steph_petit77 Really Beautiful 🏼🏼🏼 2mon
  •   tgif_sunset Dear mate @crystalann_b, we're so flattered to feature your MAGNIFICENT shot in our hub. Many thanks if you're willing to FOLLOW us & TAG to #tgif_sunset for many chance to be featured! 1mon

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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 2mon

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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
2mon

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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
2mon

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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 2mon
  •   rms.art Awesome 2mon
  •   youngadventuress Wow! You've had some great adventures! Are you ever in wanaka? 2mon
  •   slim_sultan @fr33zth4mom3nt, GOOD MORNING 2mon
  •   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 2mon
  •   youngadventuress Are you sure you can't come?! You can always crash at my place! 2mon
  •   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 2mon
  •   youngadventuress Come come come!! 2mon

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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 2mon

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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 2mon

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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 3mon

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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
3mon

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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
4mon

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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
4mon

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