Meet the Team
After 17 years in the mountain climbing/ski guiding industry and 10 years in the filming industry, Hugh is well established and well respected in both fields. He has climbed and filmed throughout New Zealand and in many overseas locations, and has a number of climbing first ascents and skiing first descents. Hugh is currently an owner/director of Wanaka Mountain Guides, chief guide at Himachal Heliski, India, and a film and outdoor safety consultant. A fully qualified IFMGA guide, Hugh is considered one of this country’s most experienced guides.
Hugh’s passions include continuing to explore our relationships with the outdoors through various mediums, as well as promoting these relationships to others. He believes in low impact adventure wherever possible and the importance of protecting our environment. He is motivated by this project because he sees it having a positive impact on outdoor adventure in New Zealand.
Jamie is at the forefront of top rock climbers pushing their limits in an alpine environment. In the past two years he has been involved in three committing and technically demanding alpine first ascents: A five pitch alpine rock route in the Darren Mountains with Derek Thatcher, crux grade 27; a six pitch alpine rock route in the remote Garden of Allah, Central Southern Alps, with Guy McKinnon, crux grade 21; and a four pitch mixed route on Mt Haast, Southern Alps, with Jono Clarke, crux grade M5/6. In addition, Jamie is well known for his determination, fitness and bold approach both to rock and alpine climbing. Jamie’s inspiration comes from his belief that he is capable of achieving the highest standards yet in this country’s alpine environment.
Jamie works as an enviromental consultant, and has strong views on the need for responsible adventuring in this country. He understands the limits of our natural resources and the fine line between protecting them while still enjoying the challenges found within them.
Paul is a Christchurch-based adventurer and adventure writer. During the past 20 years he has achieved firsts ascents in alpinism, rock and ice climbing, first descents in snowboarding, first caving descents, and exploration and surfing of remote waves. Recently, he was a part of successful mountaineering expeditions to India (2007), Kyrgyzstan (2008) and Pakistan (2009). He has a strong ethic for adventure and good decision-making in the outdoors.
Currently, Paul is regarded as one of the top adventure writers in this country, contributing to North and South, New Zealand Geographic, Wilderness, New Zealand Climber, New Zealand Fitness and various other publications. He has three books published: ‘Where the Mountains Throw Their Dice’ (2007); ‘High Misadventure’ (2008); and ‘Searching For Groundswell’ (2009). Paul is passionate about the outdoors and how Kiwis interact in it. For example, his recent article with North and South (August issue) explored the problems surrounding this country’s adventure tourism industry, and has been influential in helping to improve industry standards. Paul believes in the need to communicate the positive impacts of outdoor adventure to an urbanising society and to illustrate the pathways possible to staying connected with the environment.
Shelley has been a rock climber and mountaineer for the past 15 years. In that time she has steadily improved her skills and decision-making ability over a broad range of climbing terrain. And in the past five years, Shelley has decided to take her climbing to the highest level she can achieve. In 2007, she was part of an expedition to the Indian Himalaya, and discovered that she performed particularly well at altitude, especially when compared to her more experienced team mates. Since then, Shelley has made strong inroads towards her goal of becoming one of this country’s top female alpine climbers. Since the Himalayan expedition she has led a number of New Zealand alpine grade 5 climbs as well as putting up new routes, both alpine and rock. Shelley has led WI 4, and rock to grade 24 during trips to Moonarie, Arapiles and Thailand.
Shelley has a strong environmental ethic, and promotes this in her employment as a virtual field trip teacher. She believes that ‘Backyard And Beyond’ is an ideal opportunity to further her own climbing as well as encouraging a new generation of adventurers.
Troy is an experienced climber and well respected photographer based in Christchurch. He studied outdoor leadership at Aoraki Polytech in and then worked in the outdoor industry for a number of years, both in New Zealand and overseas. Later, he trained and worked as an arborist, becoming proficient at rope management skills in hazardous situations.
More recently, Troy has focussed on his photography, and then broadening this into motion filming. Over the past year his work has become increasingly recognised within the climbing and outdoor community in New Zealand. Troy’s photos have featured in several magazines, including front covers.
Troy is a key addition to the Backyard and Beyond team. His skill and experience at seeing outdoor life through the lens, not to mention being competent at doing this safely in the mountains, is greatly appreciated by the other team members.