Author(s): Philip Temple
Longlist, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 2003 (Non-Fiction: Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture Section) The age of exploration came to an end in the 1960s, when the solar topee, compass and trouble-with-the-natives gave way to satellite surveillance and helicopters. Philip Temple was one of the last true explorers. In 1962, at the age of 23, he went to New Guinea with Heinrich Harrer (author of Seven Years in Tibet, The White Spider) to conquer the highest mountain in the Pacific. Having climbed all the glaciated summits of the Dolomite-like Cartensz Pyramide in West New Guinea (Irian Jaya), they then travelled literally into the stone age to witness the manufacture of stone tools in a corner of the northern highlands never before visited by Europeans. Unable until now to write about his experiences with Harrer in New Guinea because of contractual restrictions, Temple is now free to return to the unsurpassed experiences of a young man who fulfilled a dream of climbing pristine mountains, discovering uncharted valleys, and travelling with the most primitive people on earth. Philip Temple is an award-winning New Zealand author and photographer with more than 30 non-fiction books, guides and children's books to his credit. He is also a leading television documentary writer and editor. In his youth he was a prominent mountaineer, climbing in the Southern Alps, and making original explorations and first ascents in New Guinea and the sub-Antarctic. During the course of these he travelled with such legendary mountain explorers as Heinrich Harrer and H.W.'Bill' Tilman. He now lives in Dunedin. First published August 2002.
Philip Temple has been described as the most versatile writer in NZ. He has written eight novels, some of which have been published overseas and he has won awards both here and elsewhere for his children's books, historical biographies and TV documentaries. He has also published photographic books, political works and walking track guides. Among various fellowships, Philip Temple has been the Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago, Katherine Mansfield Fellow at Menton and held the Creative NZ Berlin Writers Residency. In 2005 he was given a Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.