Hiking the Chatham Islands

We’re just back from a mini expedition to the Chatham Islands (including Pitt Island), located 800 kilometres east of the South Island of New Zealand. It’s about as close as we can get to an “overseas” expedition right now. The islands do feel distinctively different from the mainland and offer a rich geological and wilderness experience. There’s an extensive hiking track network, but very little information online. So we hiked them all and have documented our experiences below.

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Expedition to the Arctic

The Arctic Circle, Alaska / January 2020

After our expedition to Antarctica, we found ourselves compelled to visit the Arctic also. A land of beauty, desolation and frigid cold. Cold of -40 degrees C and below. And with a desire to push north was a far as possible, our limits were going to be tested to the max.

Join us as we venture through the northern bounds of Alaska and into the Arctic Circle during a punishing winter.

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Expedition to Krakatau, post Tsunami

Indonesia / November 2019

A year to this date, we set foot and (almost) climbed a very violently erupting Anak Krakatau.  A month later, a large part of the south-western cone collapsed, causing a massive displacement of water. A 30 meter high wall of water smashed into our (now former) campsite causing significant erosion and landslides. If we had been camping there at the time, we would have been toast. Tragically, 426 people were killed by the wave on the mainland.

The the volcano had almost blown itself apart – reducing its height from 338 to 110 metres. The satellite imagery outlined a dramatically changed island. We just had to go back and see the destruction for ourselves.

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Classic South Island Snow Storm

Lewis Pass, New Zealand / June 2019

This season’s winter has been particularly mild, but with a South Island snow storm on the way, we jumped on a plane bound for Christchurch, picked up a 4×4 and headed towards the Lewis Pass where we hunkered down and waited for the storm to arrive.

It didn’t take long for the fun destroying cone deployers to be out in force, closing the road. We did however get a good dumping of snow, turning the Lewis Pass into a winter wonderland. Magic!

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Ambrym Island’s famed lava lakes lost

Ambrym Island, Vanuatu / March 2019

The volcanic island of Ambrym, Vanuatu is certainly a wonder of the world. There isn’t another place like it anywhere on our planet. Two imposing cones rise from the desert-like caldera, both churning with molten rock.

I have made descents within both Marum and Benbow’s cones on multiple expeditions. Anyone venturing this close to the blazing lava has felt a blazing sense of mother nature’s disinterest in us. But then it all changed…

Unprecedented geological events unfolded in December 2018 which ultimately brought about the destruction of the famed lava lakes.

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Anak Krakatau Eruption Expedition

Anak Krakatau, Indonesia / October 2018

We’re back from our Indonesian expedition – to get as close as possible to the violently erupting Anak Krakatau. We had huge lava bombs crashing down on us and observed impressive vulcanian eruptions. The volcano wasn’t the only hazard – we had to contend with Komodo Dragons, pythons and landslides.

View our expedition report and footage here

Hawaii’s Kilauea eruption and lava flows

Leilani Estates, Big Island, Hawaii / May 2018

On May 3rd, 2018, a fissure opened up in Leilani Estates (Puna District, Big Island) releasing lava. Over the coming days, more fissures opened up, spewing large volumes of lava skyward. Lava soon began to accumulate and flow towards the ocean. There have been at least three separate ocean entries to date. Fissure 8 continues to be the most vigorous, with fire fountaining extending beyond 200ft.

Extreme Pursuit made the journey to Leilani and captured some extraordinary footage. View here.