Hi, my name is Ben Irvine.
I am passionate about being immersed in the great New Zealand outdoors, especially mountaineering. I also hunt, ski tour, tramp, mountain bike and road cycle. I am a member of the Palmerston North Land Search and Rescue team, and I volunteer, train and serve our local community. I attended the Hilary Outdoors Education Centre where I climbed Mt Ruapehu and slept on the summit. It was a fantastic feeling to be on top of the highest peak on the North Island and see the sun rise over the summit ridge. I also climbed Mt Taranaki in a solo effort completing the round summit trip in under four hours. Again, the feeling of being on top of the world is hard to describe, but this feeling feeds the desire to climb something bigger!
I have had the privilege of sailing on the Spirit of Adventure, and attending Outward Bound as a Hyundai Pinnacle Programme participant. These were epic experiences that taught me more about emotional intelligence, self reflection and the importance of feedback from others. As a result of feedback from my Outward Bound group, I have applied to the Antarctica Heritage Trust to attend their South Georgia expedition this year, with the possibly of ascending Mt Worsley.
My ultimate dream is to conquer the peaks within Aotearoa, and then travel overseas to traverse mountains and summit peaks that offer high risk and high rewards. I would also like to use the specialised skills I will need to acquire to help others through search and rescue. This year I have already utilised these skills on a solo rescue for a member of the public, who suffered a medical episode at Tongariro National Park. During winter I also volunteer as a ski patroller at Tukino ski-field, and like Macpac's founder Bruce McIntyre, I am fierce in the belief that life is better when you are outside. I am currently undertaking an Engineering Apprenticeship, and I intend to train to work on rescue helicopters in the near future.