A different take on the standard SOTA activation video

Greetings friends!

This activation video is a little bit different, there is no doof doof party music, nor are there a half million cuts per second. I’m calling it an “experiment”.

With the South Island of New Zealand finally free of lockdown, I head back into the mountains for a little hiking trip up into my own back yard!

We walk up the Arrow river, rich with old gold mining history as it winds its way up the valley towards the derelict town of Macetown.

We throw a right off the Macetown “road” and head up the New Chum Ridge Track, head left onto the sparse Miners Route and then shoot up off trail to the 1108m spot height. There are expansive views throughout the Wakatipu basin of Arrowtown and Queenstown, and many of the basins feature peaks such as The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, Mt Sale, Crown Peak, Brow Peak, Ben Lomond, Bowen Peak, Mt Soho and Cardrona.

On the summit we have a crack at a little bit of ham radio (summits on the air) and make contact with stations as far away as Japan using voice (SSB) and also morse code! (CW).

There was also some “exceptionally good” wildlife, nature and particularly bird photography/videography done. I apologise in advance for this, it was terrible.

Thank you very much extreme team, have an excellent day!


Great to see you’re back out, and also the winter ZL flora and fauna. Thanks for sharing!


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Well done! It looks like you basically walked three times the distance to get those shots!

I had no idea about pine trees being an invasive species.

And “mining for bitcoin.” Priceless.


Hi Chris,

I like all your videos and this one is indeed different, but I like this more relaxing composition even more!

I didn’t know as well that pines are considered invasive species in New Zealand, or should I say Aotearoa? :thinking:

Well done!

73 Stephan

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Thank you gentlemen!

It was only something like 800 vertical meters of climbing so I didn’t notice all the backtracking, and honestly I just had fun being out there.

Yes indeed, pines were introduced for a variety of reasons but absolutely out-compete everything native to New Zealand and they are exceptionally good at growing in our low quality high alpine soil. In 15 years an area will go from high country tussock lands to a mature pine forest. Once they get established and start dropping their pine needles onto the ground they smother all other growth.

There is plenty of good information about it here - Wilding conifers: Weeds

Unfortunately as New Zealand (particularly the South Island) is so remote and topographically extreme it’s incredibly hard to get to the plants and then destroy them, only mad hatters like me get into these areas on foot.

Thank you for taking the time to watch!


thanks for another great video. most of the footage could probably be used in a professional nature film as well. great scenery, nice choice of music!

73 martin, oe5reo


It starts so calm and relaxed …

… and then the tree destruction brings back the known momentum and energy :joy:


Hi Chris,
Your “experiment” was highly enjoyed here. Very nice and relaxing video.
Beautiful landscapes, as usual, and great water falls and streams, which I enjoyed seeing and hearing.
I wonder how those pine trees got there. But they are not there anymore. At least those ones…
We have millions of invader Eucalyptus tree (original from VK) mainly in Galicia region EA1 (420.000 Ha in 2018 :: 1 Ha is about 1 football court). They started to be planted for wood from the seeds sent by a missionary from Tui (Galicia - Spain) in about 1846 and they had a great success because of their productivity, as they grow really fast.
Thanks for this new video.


Loved it… NZ humour… NZ scenery… what’s not to like.