Jeffrey Fitting (Inky)
Inky is an explorer and sailor within the more remote parts of this world such as the Amazon Jungle, Andes Mountains, Pacific Islands and his own beloved Southern Alps. With not only an education but a passion for learning from and working with indigenous peoples, he enjoys nothing more than to share a few narrative yarns. Inky feels that as a guide, it is incredibly fulfilling to have the opportunity to live vicariously through those he has the privilege to share his backyard with.
What do you get up to when you are not guiding?
Sailing the high seas, surfing gnarly swells, caving into the depths of the earth, exploring deep into jungles and roaming mountainous backcountry.
As a guide what’s a top tip you’d pass on to our hikers?
Your limits are quite likely further afield than you think they are. Blisters will agitate, sun will burn, wind will chill and rain will wet but the spirit of the adventure will feed your soul.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails." - Mark Twain
Sharing a laugh is such a benefit of group travel, share with us one of your funny moments on a trip?
Any of those moments where people go to retrieve their belongings they left outside the hut in the sun to dry only to find that our intelligent birds have decided to decorate the surrounding bush with them; it's in those moments of subtle frustration that one can only help but laugh at having to deal with such things.
What is one of the things you love most about your job?
The opportunity to live vicariously through those I share the more stunning bits of my beloved Te Wai Pounamu with fills me to the brim, every time. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
Favourite place to hike and why?
I've been exploring the far reaches of Arthur's Pass National Park and surrounding areas for the past decade which I can never seem to get enough of. There's nothing like the ability to stand upon a mountain and knowing exactly where one is at any particular moment! From waterfalls to geothermal pools, from glorious mountain tops to stunningly deep valleys, from epic passes and saddles to dodgy cols, the place has it all.
"Both guides were so caring. I’ll never forget Linda’s delicious meals or Inky’s wild stories. I felt safe on the treks and drives. I felt informed about the day’s activities. Both Inky and Linda are such amazing individuals in their own unique ways. They are both warm and welcoming and I instantly felt their love, their humble spirits, their never-ending lust for exploration, and their promise to treasure the land so that others may revel in its immense beauty. I am so appreciative to have met them as my life has been forever changed!"
- Elaine, 2019