Artwork for podcast That Moment
A Life Of The Mind
Episode 44th June 2023 • That Moment • Lee Kelly
00:00:00 00:45:25

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Between 1980's - 2015, Dave Vass was one of New Zealand's leading mountaineers, rock climbers and guides, establishing numerous first ascents in the country's hills and canyons. He was at the cutting edge of climbing in the Wanaka area in the late 90's and established the first canyoning business in New Zealand.

However in 2015, everything changed. Coming out from a climbing trip in the Central Darran Mountains during a storm, Dave slipped whilst walking downhill, catastrophically breaking his neck. A daring helicopter rescue ensued as Dave struggled to survive.

Dave talks about the challenge of nearly dying of hypothermia and persistent lung infections during the early months of his recovery. Then coming to terms with a life now lived in a wheelchair as an incomplete tetraplegic, far from the mountains and the life he loved.

With insight, Dave shares how he has discovered a love and passion for writing and the journey of finding his path to publishing a book:

'Not Set In Stone - The passion and consequence of a mountain life'.

This has been a complete change of direction, forcing him to seek a life of the mind - a new adventure full of challenges and personal growth.




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