Wild Boy is what you call a professional adventurer. We’ll let him explain the rest, “My name is Brando Yelavich, I'm 23 years old and live in the Coromandel, New Zealand. I have gained the name 'Wildboy' after my 600 day solo circumnavigation of New Zealand. I completed this mission in 2014 and have had a thirst for adventure ever since.”
After releasing a book called 'Wildboy' after the trip and a second book called 'To The Edge and Back' Brando hasn’t got much left to prove but he’s more motivated than ever. “I do motivational speaking for youth groups, young leaders, rotary, school, corporate groups and much more. I love inspiring others and giving them the extra push they may have needed to go after something they want or to simply get outdoors.”
All images provided by @wildboy_adventures on Instagram and Facebook!
Where: Mount Cook, New Zealand
● Rhino-Rack Vortex Bars - (Fit your car here)
● Rhino-Rack Hybrid Bike Carrier
● Rhino-Rack Kayak Carrier
Rhino-Rack: What other passions or hobbies do you have?
Wild Boy: I am an active guy and I'm right into my adventure sports. Mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, hiking, endurance races and more recently, horse riding. I love being on the water and fishing and diving. I am very aware of the impact we have on the earth so I would consider myself passionate about the environment. I'm always keen to learn about how we can reduce our carbon footprint and work toward a better, more sustainable lifestyle.
Rhino-Rack: What is it about the outdoors that gets your revs up?
Wild Boy: I love the adrenaline I get from a gnarly mission. I love the risk involved and the buzz you get after achieving something that would have had consequences if it had gone wrong. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie but it's what keeps me pushing myself and reaching new heights. I also love being in nature. I love having life stripped back to basics with only the essentials and being able to connect with my surroundings.
Rhino-Rack: Where was your adventure set and when?
Wild Boy: In June, the middle of winter. In the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. A mission to Mount Cook.
Rhino-Rack: How did you prepare for the trip? What are the important steps to take?
Wild Boy: Most importantly, got my mountain bike into the bike rack and my white water kayak onto my boat rack. Stacked my skis in the back along with my pack raft, paddle, sleeping bag, thermals and all the down jackets I own. I made sure I had chains for driving in snow and a shovel, to get my truck out if I needed to. I've got a first aid kit and an emergency locator beacon that live in my truck and come on missions with me, just In case things get a bit sticky. I checked the weather for mount cook, a massive storm was going to hit! It was going to be epic.
Rhino-Rack: Who were you with or was it a solo adventure?
Wild Boy: I was riding solo but as usual I met up with people I knew a long the way. I teamed up with my sister and her partner at one point which was awesome.
Rhino-Rack: That’s awesome and such a great excuse to explore somewhere new. How’d you all find the tricky conditions?
Wild Boy: The weather was hectic, blizzard like conditions. Pretty exciting but also dangerous, it makes for basically zero visibility and pretty rough driving. On the road, I was driving with my chains on. Off road there was so much snow and ice, I was very aware of just how bad it would be if I got stuck in these conditions.
Rhino-Rack: What was it you intended to do/see/ experience there?
Wild Boy: I went there to have a bloody good adventure. Weather that usually draws you away from the mountains was pulling me in, I wanted to experience something new in a beautiful place in trying circumstances.
Rhino-Rack: Did you accomplish that?
Wild Boy: Yes! It was a wicked mission, I ended up spending a good few weeks in the South Island travelling and adventuring.
Rhino-Rack: Were there any lessons learnt?
Wild Boy: I'm always learning when in the wilderness. I didn't have to learn any lessons the hard way this time but I did a doozy one morning. I woke up after heavy snow all night, I went to get out of my car and get myself sorted, but when I tried the door it wouldn't open. I tried again pushing it with my shoulder, I realised I had been snowed in. I was away from any roads and any civilisation. I tried the door again, shoving it and kicking it and quite frankly starting to panic. There was no coverage and no one around and the weather was forecast for more snow for days. At this point, I realised the door was locked from the inside, I wasn't snowed in at all and was freaking out for no reason! Haha!
Rhino-Rack: How did Rhino-Rack products help to facilitate your adventure?
Wild Boy: My Rhino-Rack are wicked. They enable me to take gear with me, keep it on top of my truck which in turn leaves me room to set my bed up in my truck. Super handy when going into snow and blizzards. I had my bike and white water kayak on my racks, a rack for my snow gear is next on my list!
Rhino-Rack: What is it about the destination or the journey of your adventure that makes the trip worthwhile?
Wild Boy: There is something magical about Mount Cook, if you haven't been there, you've got to go. Whether it's because it's the biggest mountain in NZ or just the amazing scenery and absolutely stunning landscapes, it is so special. Other than the obvious adventures up the mountains to the huts and the summit there's ice climbing, day walks, beautiful glacial lakes and endless views.
Rhino-Rack: What’s the logistics of the adventure that other thrill seekers can follow?
Wild Boy: Wait for a bloody big storm and get amongst it!
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