Canterbury Alpine Skyline Peaks a Magnet to Climbers

Book Review

“Alpine Panorama” by Andy Buchanan, published by Quentin Wilson Publishing, price $59.99. Reviewed by Tony Orman.
On a clear winter’s day Canterbury’s snowcapped alpine skyline west of Christchurch is entrancing and with a magnetic appeal to Cantabrians and anyone with an observant eye to the outdoors.
That distant alpine skyline drew author Andy Buchanan as a youngster towards it. Family holidays took in tramping and skiing and thus grew a love of the mountains to the west of Christchurch.In the Buchanan family home on the Port Hills looking over Christchurch is a cherished sketch outline, a visual guide to 133 peaks visible. Even in primary school days the author was aware and admired the mountains visible across the Canterbury Plains.
“The more I looked at that spectacular view, the more I was drawn to it,’ he recounts. “I continue to explore those peaks, responding to my youthful curiosity.”
More recently, Andy Buchanan set about a retirement plan of conquering each and every one of the peaks. He never tired of the exhilaration of climbing them and he ventured into new territory as well as rekindling associations with peaks he already knew.
“Each tramp or climb is an exercise in getting to know more about the peaks up close and underfoot: about being there at dusk and dawn as the colours fade or bloom on the tops; about discovering unknown contours and hidden routes and overnighting in historic huts or on awkward ridges, about enjoying spectacular views——and feeling the great satisfaction of a successful walk or climb.”
It’s a well illustrated account and along the way for the reader, it’s indirectly an invaluable field guide.
I’ve often looked at the peaks driving from Marlborough to and from. The book is not just Canterbury but takes in the mountain chain of the Seaward Kaikouras too.
Through text and assisted by excellent photographs the author describes the peaks and the climbs that he and companions have accomplished.
 It’s a book that will likely inspire keen trampers to explore the mountain areas that Andy Buchanan knows so well.
Andy Buchanan book.jpg
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