On the couch with Adventure South guide Angela Sexton

Angela Sexton - New Zealand guide
Angela Sexton - New Zealand guide

On the couch: Adventure South guide Angela Sexton

It would be fair to say incredible tours would only be tours if it weren’t for our dedicated cycling and hiking guides. With their extensive experience, knowledge, and abundant energy, they are fundamental to the success of every trip we undertake.

We caught up with our guide Ange to discover how she got into hiking 16 years ago. Why her favourite trip is the Moonlight Valley and Ben Lomond Backcountry Hike trip. She even shared a few top tips for eager travellers considering a multi-day tour.


How did you first get into hiking?

I was living in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains were my backyard. Whether it’s in my blood or completely random I decided I wanted to climb all of the highest peaks in Colorado. It’s a lot of hiking just to get to the base of them. That was 16 years ago and I've somehow managed to make it a career. I think it’s pretty amazing really.
 

What does hiking mean to you, and what does it give you? 

Hiking has always been a gateway in my life. Whether to access adventure, connect with people, stay fit, or a means to simply clear my head. It’s provided me with a rewarding career, leading people into places they wouldn't ordinarily explore or experience without a guide. Hiking has opened my eyes and heart to connect with nature in a way that revives me, and enables me to grow as a person. Hiking can be confronting when it’s not blue skies and clear paths. It can reveal our weaknesses and our strengths. It’s just a beautiful thing that never gets old. There’s always more mountains to climb, tracks to explore, and of course new people to share it with.  

HIKING CAN BE CONFRONTING WHEN IT'S NOT BLUE SKIES
AND CLEAR PATHS. IT CAN REVEAL OUR WEAKNESSES
AND OUR STRENTHS. IT'S JUST A BEAUTIFUL THING
THAT NEVER GETS OLD
 

All time favourite New Zealand trip?

Definitely the Moonlight Valley and Ben Lomond Backcountry Hike trip. It’s a new Adventure South itinerary, but I've been guiding in that area for four years. With tourism in New Zealand increasing every year the public trails are getting busier, with the feeling of being remote on a guided trip harder to obtain. This area is a vast high country sheep station with breathtaking scenery whatever the season. The station owners host us, providing a warm atmosphere and real authentic kiwi experience.
 

Climbing up the Ridge line on Ben Lomond |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>

 

Most memorable moment on the trails?

Without doubt, getting an entire group to the summit of a mountain. The journey up can always present physical and mental challenges, dynamic weather, and false summits. The collective sense of achievement at the top however results in a camaraderie I love being part of. Naturally the views, treats, and hot drinks add even more to the memories.
 

 

The collective sense of achievement at the top
however results in a camaraderie I love
being part of..

The Remarkables Mountain Range from Ben Lomond Summit |  <i>Colin Monteath</i>

 

 

What advice do you have for people choosing a guided walk? 

Research thoroughly, and then choose an activity level that is realistic to train and prepare for. Look at the weather patterns for the region / season you’re interested in. Read reviews, ask questions and invest in a good rain jacket. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.

 
"There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear"
 

What are your top tips for people preparing for a multi-day walk? 

Training is the best way to get the most out of your guided walk. You might get by with a low level of fitness, but you won't enjoy the experience as much as those who’ve trained beforehand. Don’t let bad weather deter you from training, as it’s the best training. We don't get spectacular blue sky landscapes everyday. There's always a chance we'll endure adverse elements. Embrace the rainy and windy days once in awhile in your training routine. You might even begin to enjoy it.

Join us on Ange's favourite Adventure South Hike; the Moonlight Valley and Ben Lomond Backcountry Hike.

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