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Scott K MacLeod spends three days shivering and hobbling his way along the Motatapu Track.
On Shania Twain's ridgeline, the wind slices through our clothes and chills us deep.
It's mid-morning and we're climbing from Fern Burn Hut alongside marker poles towards Jack Halls Saddle. The sky is clear, but we're in the shadows of the surrounding mountains and the wind is whipping up the valleys towards us. We're tramping as fast as we can towards the sunlit peak above, but as our altitude passes 1200m our hands grow so numb we can barely feel our trekking poles.
When we reach the warmth, I squint at the sun and thank Shania Twain.
Because if it weren't for the Canadian pop star, we wouldn't be here.
Jo and I are tramping from Wanaka to Arrowtown through the backcountry, and part of our route includes the 34km Motatapu Alpine Track. This runs through land that Twain and her then-husband, Mutt Lange, bought in 2004. As part of the deal, they paid six-figure sums to build three Department of Conservation huts and a public-access trail across their property.
Jo scoots ahead on knees that are less worn out than mine. Hell, most of her body is less worn out than mine. We're both aged in our 40s, but we're tramping this route towards the end of a punishing five-month hike of the 3000km Te Araroa trail. I've wrecked myself more than she has, shedding 24kg in bodyweight and gaining a dozen or so injuries.