Back from beyond


NZ Mountain Film Festival director Mark Sedon has an epic adventure story of his own to tell at this year’s festival.

In November, the Lake Hawea heli-ski guide set off on a “magical” three-man 1700 kilometre expedition through Antarctica.

Travelling with Brit and former festival speaker Leo Houlding and Frenchman Jean Burgun, Sedon spent 55 days kite-skiing and climbing one of the world’s most remote peaks – Mt Spectre in the Gothic Range of the Transantarctic Mountains.

Sedon will reflect on their recent experiences during a talk at the festival in Queenstown this weekend.

“The highlights were the scenery and beauty of where we were,” Sedon says.

“Because we were kiting and moving so far and so fast, the scenery changed so much. It was just magical.

“Leo asked me to come and we got on very well.”

The trio had to carry weights of up to 200kg on the challenging trip.

“I will be talking about the physical exertion you deal with and how we managed that cold and not getting frostbite. It was quite intimidating.

“We had food and supplies to last us for 70 days. It took us 18 days – not eight as planned – to get to the mountain.

“But what an amazing trip.”

Sedon says he’s most excited to see a talk this evening by mountaineering pioneer, Conrad Anker, as well as the Snow Show session tomorrow, which includes a film following Sam Smoothy and his team as they climb and ski the east face of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

The opening night of the festival includes a Grand Prize-winning film about two-time climbing world champion Liv Sansoz, a film following a foodless bike-pack journey, and an insight into Adam Ondra’s attempt at the hardest rock climb on the planet.

The final day of the festival – the Free Family Show – features films about kids riding bikes in Kathmandu, punk rockers taking on the challenge of mountain climbing and other unique stories, such as how wild hallucinogenic honey is harvested in Nepal.

Catch Sedon’s talk about his expedition on Saturday at 8pm.

All of the events running from tonight till Saturday will be held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

For the full programme and prices visit