Craigieburn Mountain Adventure.



My work as an outdoor sports and lifestyle photographer has it’s ups and downs. It’s utter highs and equal lows. But i’d not have it any other way because when i’m outdoors with my camera, friends, clients, strangers or even alone- I feel free. I’m very happy that I can head off on adventures on a regular basis these days and document this amazing sport, nature, people and stunning locations…all for the LOVE of running and that outdoor high.

I’ve always been a peak bagger since moving to New Zealand. I cannot help myself. I see a high point and just have to get up there and look down on the wonder below. It’s a pretty simple affair all things considered and there is never any race. I just head off up to the summit, enjoy the challenge which is always different, then take it all in before heading back. I run and walk mostly off road, and hills are no exceptions, while I’m never in a rush. The traverse and descent is always a highlight too, but on a recent outing it was pretty special day in the mountains.

During a recent camper van adventure a few months ago down South, I headed up to a peak in the Craigieburn mountains (a few hours out of Christchurch) which used to be my old stomping grounds, to see the weather come in from sunshine to heavy snow in mere minutes. I love how this happens in the mountains. There is no order up high, and the rules are not based on logic. The run back from the peak was amazing too with heavy snow fall. It was enchanting. Spectacular. Beautiful. But oh so very cold!

By the time I had got back to my camper all of my 4 layers were soaking wet, I was frozen to the core, but very happy to have experienced such an amazing display by Mother Nature. What an adventure, and then it was time to hit the road once again towards Christchurch, where we called home for close to seven years, and to some old friends. On the way, the sleet and snow storms lessened to a marvellous sunny, crisp and happy glow. It was beautiful to spend time up high at a familiar peak, that always grounds me. It made me feel so connected once again. So real.

Also published over at and


Photography is by Paul Petch an Auckland City based commercial photographer, art director and producer.

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