FMC Expedition Scholarships2020-04-17T11:12:10+13:00

FMC Expedition Scholarships

FMC have been awarding youth scholarships for outdoor expeditions since 2010. Originally funded by the Maerewhenua Trust the Scholarships are now funded in full by the FMC Mountain and Forest Trust. Supported expeditions have traversed the wildest places in New Zealand including the Adams and Olivine Wilderness Areas. The Simon Bell Memorial Scholarship was offered for the first time in 2016, to outdoors people of all ages.

About the Scholarships

FMC Youth Scholarships

There is one round of Expedition Scholarships annually (applications closing 18 September 2020). The maximum scholarship available is $1,000.  The scheme is open to members of affiliated or associated clubs of FMC, and also to individual supporters of FMC. The Scholarship includes provision for younger trampers to be accompanied by older trampers in a mentoring role.

Simon Bell Memorial Scholarship

The Simon Bell Memorial Scholarship  is also offered annually (applications closing 18 September 2020). The maximum scholarship available is $1000. The scheme is open to members of affiliated or associated clubs of FMC, and also to individual supporters of FMC. The scholarship uses the same criteria as the FMC Youth Scholarship but is open to adventurers of any age, recognising that there is adventure within us all.

The following message from Simon’s parents explains the Scholarship:

“Simon’s joy was exploring the wild places of our beautiful country. He had a passion for climbing, a commitment to safe practice and developing skills, and an enthusiasm for sharing experience. He died on a solo climb of Pikirakatahi/Earnslaw on 15 January 2015. This memorial scholarship is intended to help recipients of any skill level to continue their exploration of Aotearoa’s wild places and to enhance their confidence, leadership and safe practice in tramping or mountaineering. “

How to apply

Read the full Expedition Scholarship Criteria online then fill out an Expedition Scholarship application form and email it along with the supporting information to eo@fmc.org.nz by 18 September 2020.


2019 FMC Expedition Scholarship recipients 

Simon Bell Memorial Expedition Scholarship

  • Luca Karjalainen, Otago University Tramping Club, for a trip to the Olivine Ice Plateau and environs.

Youth Expedition Scholarships

Full award

  • Ben Mangan, Canterbury Mountaineering Club and NZAC Canterbury-Westland, for a trip to the
    Gardens of Eden / Allah with the intention to explore new climbing routes on Newton Peak.
  • Patrick Marsh, Canterbury University Tramping Club, for a traverse from West Cape to the South Coast Track, Fiordland.
  • Sacha Knight, Auckland University Tramping Club, for a traverse from Arthur’s Pass to Mt Cook Village.
  • Merlyn Barrer, Nayland College (Nelson), for a bike-walk-kayak west to east Traverse of the Upper South Island.
  • Elizabeth Ravn, Individual Supporter, for an off-track, alpine traverse from the Routeburn to the Eglinton with side trips into the Pembroke Wilderness.
  • Jamie Macalister, Canterbury Mountaineering Club, for a trip aiming to pioneer new rock-climbing routes on Douglas Spur, Paringa River, Westland.

Partial awards

  • Harriett Miller, NZAC Nelson, for a traverse from Whanganui (Kahurangi) to Whataroa.
  • Mary Williams, Individual Supporter, for a run of the Rakiura and Te Aroroa tracks with emphasis
    on promotion on matters pertaining to mental health.
  • Beren Goodwin (17yrs), Hutt Valley Tramping Club, for a trip on the Te Araroa track.

Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients on their successful applications. We wish you a summer full of rewarding adventures, and look forward to your trip reports!

Previous Expedition Award Winners and their Stories

We’ve published as many of the stories as we can on our Wilderlife blog.

  • 2018: Morgan Scully and Coraline Buchet, VUWTC, for a traverse of the Southern Alps – Simon Bell Memorial Scholarship.
  • 2018: Dave Kelbe, OUTC, for a walking and pack-rafting traverse from Doubtful Sound to Dusky Sound (delayed until summer 2019 / 2020).
  • 2018: Madeleine Whittaker, OUTC, for the South Island section of the Te Araroa Trail to raise funds for youth at risk.
  • 2018: Sooji Clarkson, Individual Supporter, for a female-led climbing trip to the Balfour Neve.
  • 2018: Jake Harris, Nelson College, for a 20-day traverse of the Tasman Wilderness Area in Kahurangi National Park.
  • 2018: Kevin Peng, University of Canterbury Climbing Club and NZAC Canterbury/Westland, for an exploratory rock-climbing trip to the Ruggedy Mountains on Rakiura / Stewart Island.
  • 2017: Ivan Andrews, VUWTC, a Southern Alps crossing from the Rakaia to the West Coast via the Bracken snowfield and Ivory Lake Hut.
  • 2017: Dulkara Martig, FMC Individual Supporter,  an all-women traverse from Arthur’s Pass to Mt Cook.
  • 2017: Stacey Hendricks, MUAC, an expedition into Nelson Lakes National Park.
  • 2017: Nathan Sturrock, FMC Individual Supporter, an east-west traverse of Upper South Island from the Clarence to the Buller.
  • 2017: Sam West, OUTC, Findlay Glacier – South Westland, A novel expedition to pay homage to the late John Findlay (Sam’s grandfater).
  • 2017: Justin Venables (NZ Canyoning Association): Tuke River (Westland). An ambitious first descent by a tough local team – the Simon Bell Memorial scholarship.
  • 2016: Allan Brent, Alexis Belton, Lydia McLean,  Mark Leslie, Te Wai Pounamu traverse.
  • 2016: Debbie Buck, Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club, a traverse of the Tasman Wilderness Area – the Simon Bell Memorial scholarship.
  • 2016:Max Truell, Western Springs College Tramping Club, a traverse from Arthurs Pass to Lewis Pass, skirting the east side of Arthurs Pass National Park (delayed until summer 2017/2018)
  • 2016: Hans Philipp Seultrop, Canterbury University Tramping Club, a mountain run from St Arnaud to Lewis Pass via several of the mountain ranges (delayed until summer 2017/2018)
  • 2016: Jaz Morris, Expedition Climbers Club, an attempt on the south face of Pariroa/Castle Mount in Fiordland (delayed until summer 2017/2018)
  • 2016: Bianca Freytag, Auckland University Tramping Club, a full traverse of the Olivine Ice Plateau (delayed until summer 2017/2018)
  • 2015: Caroline Bellamy, Canterbury University TC: for a trip traversing the Haast Range and adjoining valley systems in South Westland.
  • 2015:Sarah Tiong, NZ Alpine Club (Otago Section): for a trip into the Olivine Ice Plateau via the Forgotten River Col.
  • 2015: Jarrod Alexander, NZ Alpine Club (Canterbury Section): for climbing trips based in Fiordland and with particular emphasis on Sinbad Gully and the Darran Mountains.
  • 2015: Penzy Dinsdale, Otago University TC: for an ‘all women’s traverse’ through the Olivines Wilderness . (Read the article, or watch the video)
  • 2015: Zoe Sagarin, Taranaki Alpine Club: for a multiday climbing and mentoring trip based on the upper, western slopes of Mt Taranaki (above Kahui Hut).
  • 2015: Carmen Chan (Auckland University Tramping Club). A traverse of the Tararua Mountain Range. A visit to the home of tramping.
  • 2014: Sylvie Ardmore (Auckland University TC). A 12 day circuit from Erewhon taking in the Gardens of Eden and Allah and the Lawrence River.
  • 2014: Kate Wooton (Canterbury University TC). A week long traverse of the Gardens of Eden and Allan from the West Coast to the East.
  • 2014: Kathryn Volllinger (OSONZAC). A tramp in/out expedition to climb new rock climbing routes on the faces above Poisedon Creek in the Glaisnoick Wilderness Area.
  • 2013: Alastair McDowell (Auckland University TC). A traverse of the Southern Alps via passes, tops and valleys, from Arthur’s Pass to Mt Cook and with plans to climb several peaks en route if conditions permit.
  • 2013: Brendan Maggs (NZ Alpine Club, Canterbury/Westland).  For a journey into the Balfour Neve region (Southern Alps) and a series of climbs on and around Torres Peak (including attempts to pioneer new routes).
  • 2013: James Chancellor (Auckland University TC).  For a journey to retrace pioneer explorer and missionary, William Colenso’s steps on an east – west crossing of the Ruahine Range.
  • 2013: Nick Riordan (Canterbury University TC). For a traverse of the Paparoa Range, Westland. Read the account in CUTC’s newsletter.
  • 2013: William Adlam (Taranaki Alpine Club).  For a journey along the Douglas Range, Kahurangi National Park. Read about their trip here.
  • 2013: Jim Anderson (NZAC, North Otago Section).  For a journey to the summit of Mt Cook, including carrying of survey gear, see this link: http://youtu.be/wRvq9A5qwsY
  • 2012: Wouter van Beershoten (Canterbury University TC). A traverse of the Princess Range and a climb of Caroline Peak in the vicinity of Lake Hauroko, Fiordland.
  • 2012: Matt Lillis (Auckland University TC). You can read about Matt’s Ruahine extensive north – south traverse here.
  • 2012: Nina Dickerhof (NZAC Canterbury/Westland). You can read about Nina’s Olivine Wilderness Expedition here and see pictures here.
  • 2011: Max Olsen: (Otago University TC). For a winter expedition into the Transit Valley in Fiordland. You can read about Max’s trip here.
  • 2011: James Thornton (Otago University TC). For a trip into the Worsley River, Bligh Sound and the Glaisnock Wilderness Area. You can read about James’s trip here.