Tyler and I are sitting there on the side of a tussock hill face grinning from ear to ear. We were in total amazement of what had just happened. I pull up the spotting scope to check on how Kimmi and Adam are going with their stalk, we could see them from a kilometer away making the final few steps towards a mob of bull tahr that were feeding their way up. Expertise and guidance flowed from Adam while sheer determination and strength radiated from Kimmi. For a photographer who had been a stranger to these three only a few days ago, I was so invested in this moment.
We had arrived: The hum of the chopper faded into the distance as we stood outside a classic old hut, the last of the fading sun leaving the sky tinted a rich magenta. It didn’t take long for Kimmi to comment on the cold, leaving Tyler with no puffer jacket for the rest of the trip, and myself no longer the owner of my new First Lite down mitts. We quickly settled in for the night, making the hut our own, and fell asleep to sound of Kimmi’s iPhone playing static noise.
Having flown into our destination the evening before, we were up early the next morning, boots laced to start our steam up the hill. We were headed for a plateau in the middle of this huge valley. It gave us a great vantage point to get behind the glass. A mob of tahr was spotted far up the valley and slightly out of reach, so we decided to push on towards a low saddle in the east that Adam was eager to check out. Although it wasn’t a big climb into the saddle, the miles were ticking up, as were the wind gusts.