FMC is delighted to welcome Danilo to the staff team. Danilo should need no introduction to those with the latest copy of Moirs Guide- North, or those whose internet search for photos of a far flung summit have ended at his fantastic website: www.southernalpsphotography.com.
He brings an vast knowledge of the backcountry and a passion for its preservation to the Federated Mountain Clubs, and we are very humbled to have him on our team. Below, Danilo introduces himself and his personal mountain philosophy.
When I first arrived in New Zealand 20 years ago, I was immediately introduced to a culture of tramping and outdoors clubs, my first weekend in the country being spent walking the Milford Track with a joyous party of the Otago University Tramping Club (OUTC). In spite of having taken no plates or cutlery – why would you need to carry those?! They are in every hut in Italy! – I survived, and went on a few more trips. ‘Few’ eventually turned into ‘many’, and I was soon involved in the executive committee of the Otago University Tramping Club at first, then in the Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club, of which I was chairman for 3 years.
Twenty years later, and a few things have changed. On one hand I have slowed down a bit, and a trip that may have seemed like a fun weekend mission in times past, may now be more appealing over three or four days. On the other hand my knowledge of the southern regions has increased a bit. I have instructed on a number of river-crossing, bushcraft and snowcraft courses, and I feel honoured to have co-authored the latest edition of Moir’s Guide North.
The philosophy with which I approach the mountains has hardly changed at all. The natural environment that I call my ‘playground’ always comes first. It does not belong to me, I belong in it. I have no right to alter it, to desecrate it, to spoil it for anyone else. It is irrelevant how much (or little) time I have up my sleeve, how fit or unfit I am – I know I can always plan a trip to enjoy nature on nature’s own terms. If a mountain is too big to climb in the time available, I don’t seek to make it smaller so I can ‘bag’ it – either I rise to the challenge, or I re-adjust to a more compatible goal.
In the mountains I have always appreciated peace and quiet and beautiful, unspoilt landscapes – all things that are becoming increasingly hard to find under the pressure of money-making tourism. I am excited and motivated to join the Federated Mountain Clubs as an Executive Officer, and to support a group of like-minded volunteers who are willing to give up their own time to achieve common goals: to make sure that the next generations are going to be able to enjoy the same recreational opportunities as we did, to forster and maintain New Zealand’s rich outdoors clubs culture.
You will see me on facebook a little, or behind our newsletter or some other media. Most of the time I’ll be working hard behind the scenes to support FMC’s mission, therefore you may not notice me at all. But I do hope to see you in the hills, having a good time and becoming richer through the amazing opportunities are mountains have to offer.
FMC Executive Officer