Bob McKerrow

Showing in: Wanaka


Wanaka Mountain Book 3: Political and environmental turmoil, from Afghanistan to Aotearoa Tuesday July 2



Bob McKerrow is a mountaineer, polar adventurer, humanitarian, writer and poet. Bob has applied his highly tuned skills and expertise, developed in polar and mountain exploration, to disaster relief humanitarian work with the Red Cross. He is an adventurer, an explorer and a real Kiwi goer.

Bob was born in Dunedin and climbed in the Otago Alps as a teenager, and later extensively in the greater Southern Alps. Bob was a member of a New Zealand Andean expedition in 1968 that climbed in the Cordillera Vilcabamba; he climbed 12 peaks, 8 of them first ascents. In 1969-70 Bob wintered over in Antarctica with 3 other people at Vanda Station, the smallest-ever NZ Government wintering over group. He also did two major dog sled trips with legendary polar explorer Will Steger in the Arctic, including one to the North Pole.

Bob spent 36 years working for the International Red Cross in conflict situation and in times of major natural disasters, and would regularly take his leave in neighbouring mountain ranges.  He lived in Afghanistan for 3 years from 1993 to 1996 and had many other short assignments there.  War and landmines prevented mountaineering for many years, but he managed to do quite a lot of climbing, because he had highly trained de-mining experts in the team who were able to negotiate many dangerous access routes.

Bob has completed the Coast to Coast three times, has completed a sea kayak double-crossing of the Cook Strait, and in an attempt to sea-kayak the Tasman Sea with Paul Caffyn, was arrested for not having particular radar equipment. He is recognised as a world leader in disaster recovery, was Editor of the New Zealand Adventure Magazine in 1989 and 1990, and in his spare time he likes to write!

Bob has been a regular contributor to the NZ Alpine Journal and a number of magazines. He is author of three books: Coast to Coast – The Great New Zealand Race; Mountains of our Mind – Afghanistan; and Ebenezer Teichelmann – Pioneer New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, surgeon, photographer and conservationist. We are thrilled that Bob will be taking time out from writing a new book on mountaineering in South Westland to join us at this year’s festival.