Lander teen returns from 80-day New Zealand expedition

(Lander, Wyo.) – A 19-year-old Lander man recently returned from an 80-day expedition in New Zealand that involved sea kayaking, mountaineering and hiking.

Clayton Gookin and eight other National Outdoor Leadership School students hit the trail, so to speak, on Sept. 12, 2013. “A NOLS education demands focus as well as resilience and enthusiasm about leadership education, environmental sustainability and gaining outdoor technical skills,” states a news release about his trip.

During the kayaking section, the group paddled 90 nautical miles over roughly 25 days. In the mountaineering section Gookin and company dealt with challenging weather, but were still able to gain exposure to glacier and steep snow travel. The students then finally backpacked about 75 miles in New Zealand’s Nelson Lakes National Park.

Photos provided by NOLS. Click to enlarge.