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“It’s Beyond You, But You’re A Part of It”: Mountaineering in the Southern Alps of Aotearoa New Zealand

thesis
posted on 09.12.2021, 10:54 by Scully, Morgan

This thesis provides a phenomenological exploration of the lived experience of mountaineering in New Zealand. Based on fieldwork completed in the Southern Alps and Mount Ruapehu, it offers an analysis into how mountaineers construct the mountain environment through their climbing, while also being shaped in turn by the vital mountain. At the heart of this thesis is the movement of mountaineering. I argue that the experience of mountaineering cannot be divorced from our embodied sensory perception. Through climbing, mountaineers build a depth of embodied, living knowledge, making sense of technical information and strengthening their judgement to help them climb and manage the risks. That knowledge transforms the mountains for experienced mountaineers. Furthermore, I argue that the vibrant and potentially deadly fluxes of the mountains form their agency and thus the vitality that my participants sense. To climb in the mountains is therefore to enter into a reciprocal relationship with the vital mountain environment. The mountaineers ultimately become a reflection of the mountains in which they climb. This thesis comprises of a written thesis and immersive podcast recording, which has been attached.

History

Copyright Date

01/01/2020

Date of Award

01/01/2021

Publisher

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Anthropology

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level

Masters

Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies

Advisors

Bennett, Caroline; Elinoff, Eli