5 MIN READ | 24 JANUARY 2019


Patagonia is known for its needle-sharp mountains and breathtaking landscapes. Using kayaks and skis, this year’s Adventure Grant winners plan to explore some of the region’s most remote areas while participating in climate research and bringing awareness to the need for global climate action.

Feature Photo: An early morning ski tour above Treble Cone, in Wanaka, New Zealand. 

Marian Krogh, Nicole Mesmen and Gabby Degagne will begin their journey in September this year. They will explore the rugged coastline of the Beagle Channel and towering mountains of the Darwin Mountain Range by kayak and ski. Through their trip they aim to encourage others to participate in adventure, promote sustainable travel and raise awareness about the urgent need for climate action.

This is the third time the group has applied for The North Face Adventure Grant so they are already well-versed in perseverance. The team has also been strengthened by previous expeditions to places like Kyrgyzstan as they have had to work together to overcome countless setbacks and difficulties like hostile weather conditions, language barriers, unstable snow conditions, altitude, fatigue, anxiety, extreme cold and frostbite. 

The North Face Adventure Grant Recipient 2019 />
Photo: Nicole cooking at basecamp while on expedition in the Tien Shan mountian range in Kyrgyzstan.

The North Face Adventure Grant Recipient 2019 />

Photo: Ready to kayak across Lake Wanaka to access Mount Alta, New Zealand. 

The North Face Adventure Grant Recipient 2019 />
Photo: Gabby kayaking across Lake Wanaka with skis in tow.

In preparation for their Patagonian expedition the team will meet with climate scientists and engage with the local culture and community to better understand the impacts that climate change is having in this part of the world. This will be a carbon neutral expedition, using The North Face’s custom carbon calculator to estimate the required carbon offsets while seeking other ways to reduce overall energy usage and waste.

The North Face Adventure Grant Recipient 2019 />


Marian ‘Maz’ Krogh- Eco Warrior
Marian is a physiotherapist by trade and is based in Wanaka where she enjoys fixing injured athletes and getting them back to their active lifestyles. She is also studying a master’s degree online and coaches with the local freeride team. She has been turning her passion into purpose as the lead advocate for Protect Our Winters (POW) in New Zealand. She’s keen to use this expedition as a learning opportunity for POW’s Hot Planet Cool Athletes educational program.

Key skills:

  •         Team physio/massage therapist
  •         Level 2 AIARE Avalanche course
  •         Level 3 Ski Instructor
  •         First aid/CPR certified
  •         Participated in Ski Mountaineering Course

Gabby Degagne – Token kayaker

Gabby is a multisport professional and has been working in New Zealand, Asia, and America planning and delivering outdoor programs for youth. She’s been turning her passion into purpose by incorporating environmental education and initiatives into these outdoor programs. When she is not travelling to ski in obscure parts of the world, Gabby can be found working towards her mountain guide qualifications. She is excited to be able to combine her many passions into one expedition.

Key skills:

  • BCU- 4 Star Sea Kayak Guide
  • Avalanche Operations- Level 1
  • 80 Hour Wilderness First Responder
  • Team Photographer
  • Professional snacker

Nicole Mesman - The Magician
Nicole studied agriculture and soil science at Lincoln University. She’s interested in sustainable farming and precision agriculture and wants to continue to learn more about community practices and sustainability in different parts of the world. She is currently putting her degree to use in Canada where she’s also working as a ski instructor. Nicole is the ultimate weekend warrior and an accomplished skier, climber, mountain biker, and backcountry chef. Using Google Earth, Nicole has been working hard to find suitable routes for the team to explore by land and sea.

Key skills:

  • Able to turn any negative into a positive
  • Fixer of all things
  • Chief Navigator
  • Avalanche Safety and Mountaineering course
  • NZSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor
  • Enthusiastic beginner kayaker

The North Face Adventure Grant Recipient 2019 />
Photo: Marian and Gabby with friends on the Tasman glacier.

We look forward to working with this team to help get them expedition-ready for September 2019. Stay up to date with their progress through our Facebook and Instagram.

The North Face Adventure Grant is an initiative established by The North Face with the objective of fostering the spirit of exploration and adventure in Australia & New Zealand. Applications for 2020 expeditions open July 1st 2019. Head to www.thenorthfacegrant.com.au to find out more.

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