Overshadowed by the mighty west face of Kawarau/The Remarkables, my living room and it’s couch has seen plenty of action lately. Watching and reading the news while comfortably positioned on said couch I can tell you (and I don’t think many would disagree), that it’s a bit of a gong show out there.
What hasn’t appeared in most news broadcasts however, but has been headlining the ‘Troy Times’ is the extreme mundanity of the last few months. A rowdy game of football deep in Molesworth Station left me with an ankle injury not long before well needed shoulder stabilization surgery. Yes, I was another one of those people who’s shoulder keeps kept falling out.
There have been rays of sunshine during these dark times however. After a chance meeting earlier in the summer while walking out of the Toaroha river (a story for another time). I followed up on an offer to catch up with Jane & David Ellis at Earth Sea Sky in Christchurch. It turns out, smelling questionably and bumming a lift out of the West Coast backcountry earns you the royal treatment at Earth Sea Sky HQ. After some great coffee, discussion and some outrageously delicious date scones, I had a tour of the factory. I got to see the rolls of carefully chosen fabrics and the big bags of offcuts that Jane has yet to find a use for but refuses to throw away. I saw the people who make my clothes and the thought and care that goes into every garment. I watched the magic happen.
I left a little heavier. The date scones consumed doing more to weigh me down than my new Earth Sea Sky Stealth – a quintessential piece of ESS clothing. On the small excursions I have ventured out on I have come away stoked. The Stealth is an incredibly versatile bit of clothing. With the deep chest zip down you can keep cool on the uphill charge, and still stay warm when the wind picks up or at a snack stop by zipping up into the snug fitting hood. Overall the fit is a great blend for both casual and backcountry use.
My Stealth hasn’t had the wildest of rides just yet. But when I do slip into what is quickly becoming my new favourite piece of clothing, I get taken back to adventures past; scrambling along the crest of Ka Tiritiri o te Moana/The Southern Alps and making new friends in the Toaroha Valley. I remember the taste of the delicious date scones and of the people I met who thoughtfully put my garment together. For now however, my Stealth’s duties are mostly confined to helping me ponder over maps, stare out at the mountains and sit on the couch watching the news.