“Solo” sub-titled “Back Country adventuring in Aotearoa New Zealand” by Hazel Phillips. Published by Massey University Press. Price $39.99. Reviewed by Tony Orman
Being alone in the hills is not necessarily lonely. Often it’s an escape from the working week or business world or as some would term it, the rat race.
In 2016, disillusioned with “what Auckland had become” Hazel Phillips took a longer term look at the need to escape to the hills and spent three years wandering as a free spirit around Mount Taranaki (Egmont), Ruapehu the Kawekas, Fiordland, Arthurs Pass and a few other wilderness areas.
The book details her experiences, wandering mountain trails.
The author ranged from the North island to South Island mountain areas. Doing so, she grew in both backcountry knowledge and most importantly in confidence. She details some intriguing history of wilderness areas and several wilderness fatalities which underlined the respect mountains and wilderness demand, especially when going solo.
The experiences gave her confidence and added self esteem. She advocates that “in the world of outdoor adventure — women stand to rapidly gain confidence when they engage in challenging outdoor pursuits.”
That underlined her motivation in going alone but with judicious caution. “I guess going on adventures solo makes me feel like I am actually capable and competent under my own steam.”
It’s a well produced book, written in engaging style and amply illustrated. Highly recommended for amy outdoors person and especially women.