Sunday, June 1, 2014

Surviving New Zealand's Hardest Hike- Eric Leifer
Rating: ****
By: Cameron Stotts

This article, Surviving New Zealand’s Hardest Hike, demonstrates the most deadly hike and terrain known to our world today. Not to mention how a one man, Eric Leifer, can single handedly overcome all the obstacles that the trail had to offer.  

Eric Leifer is one of the very few who have the right to say that they have tried and conquered the pernicious terrain of the Dusty Trail located in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. This trail receives an annual rainfall of 268 inches which has a notorious claim to fame as one of the wettest locations in the southern hemisphere while also making the vast majority of the place inaccessible. This means that there are only two routes available for the public, the Milford Sound, the amateur trail, and then of course the Dusty Trail. This is a 84 kilometer route that pushed Eric to his limits through the impermeable landscape. Eric’s hike took him a total of 99 hours where he encountered the hardship and cruelty of mother nature herself. Pressuring him to truck through rivers and lakes in order to complete his task. Forcing him to sleep on watery terrain causing him to become close to hypothermia. At one point in time, Eric became delirious causing him to go a little mad however, he pushed on. In the end, Eric came out victorious. Conquering the Dusty Trail in just 99 hours is no easy feat which filled him with a sense of accomplishment. Now Eric is back in reality, he no longer has worry about his own survival. He can relax and bask in the glory that he overcame a feat that not many others have done.

By reading this article, Surviving New Zealand’s Hardest Hike, it made me realize that I should take pride in the living conditions that I have because somewhere else in the world, someone is struggling to survive. It also made me reflect on the hiking trip that I went on this year for Outdoor Ed. It made me realize that we had it easy on this trip, having close to perfect conditions (besides the rain) to have an enjoyable experience. In addition, I also learned a lot from this article such as how to survive in an outdoor environment and also how to keep calm and prosper during a disastrous situation. This article has inspired me to to a better person by not complaining during situations where I may feel uncomfortable or just want to give up. It taught me to power through my problems because the the reward that you will receive at the end, will replace the pain that was caused during your journey. I have learned alot by reading this article and will work extra hard at trying to incorporate this new found knowledge into my everyday life.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I highly recommend this passage to anyone who enjoys hiking and a challenge.

"Surviving New Zealand’s Hardest Hike." Beyond the Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2014. <>.

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