Ben – Meet the Team

So day ten on the trail I have realised that I have yet to properly introduce you all to our team … how rude of me, but considering I am the kind of host who always assumes because I know everyone at a BBQ that everyone else should be allright, this is no surprise. So, introducing our intrepid little team:

Mal Haskins

Our illustrious leader, Mal is a professional mountain guide based in Wanaka, NZ. He is the guy guilty of introducing me to mountaineering in 2009 and the chap whose humour and gentle (sometimes not so gentle) encouragement got me up and back down Manaslu in 2011.


Andrew Bishop or Bish. Prior to this expedition, I last saw Bish at Univeristy in Hobart, Tasmania where wine cask roulette on a rotary clothes line and nicking roadworks signs was the height of entertainment. Despite his 194cm frame and size 50 boots, Bish is proving to be a most agreeable bloke to share a tent with: he appreciates the need for organisation, loves a joke and does not snore.

Dave (or the Hobbit)

Our shortest and possibly most witty member \. Dave is a British doctor who has been based in NZ for the last two years. He joined this expedition on his way home to marry his long term partner in crime Rach. I have thoroughly enjoyed trekking with Dave as we both love a good nerdy medical chat and are both keen explorers. Everyone is working hard on convincing Dave that his current scraggly beard would look smashing in wedding photos (sorry Rach). Dave is still trying to figure out what to do when he grows up…my kind of guy!


Fresh out of Uni, Harry is a talented rockclimber who is trying to decide where to direct his energies. Mal and I (and the rest of the crew for that matter) are probably the last people you want in your son’s ear during this time, “Be a climbing bum…” “Don’t worry too much about collecting stuff…” Enjoy life bro…do whatever makes you happy.” Harry is a proper Brit, he loves tea and speaks in an awesome grumbly Cambridge accent.


A fellow Tasmanian living in Legana, Shaun is a quarrantine officer with a brilliantly droll Aussie humour about him. Despite his slender frame Shaun eats for two people. Every night we check our oxygen sats with a fingertip monitor, and everynight, between shovelling impossible amounts of carbohydrates into his face, Shaun beats our readings with a ridiculously low pulse rate and an oxygen saturation which suggest he is a sea level, not at 5000 meters above.


A Canberran who works for Heward Packer, Brendan helps to manage the Australian Taxation Department’s Interweb space thingy – despite enthusiastic questioning, he cannot give me access to adjust my tax rates! Being an IT dude, Shaun loves his tech. He has a monitor set up at his work linked to his SPOT tracker (like mine on that tracks his progress. When I said he should have changed the “Checkin- Okay” message to read, “How’s work going Bitches” he was gutted he didn’t think of this first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Buy this book!
The Red Rucksack - Available now

This business partnership has expired.” Ben has no idea what adventures are in store when he sets out to discover what lies over that next mountain.

This week's popular posts
My favourite video
Sometime getting home is the best bit!