Bear's Heroes

Craig Murray

I'm a 21-year-old kiwi/skier/outdoor athlete/student. From January to April I compete on the Freeride World Tour. From July till November I study Environmental Science and Geography at the University of Canterbury. For the months in-between I undertake adventures in New Zealand and all over the world, as well as racing mountain bikes, and multi-sport events.

What was the path that lead you to today?

The path that lead me to today has been consistent but diverse. I competed in multiple outdoor sports growing up and eventually fell into skiing. I couldn't find anything that gave the same joy of being in the mountains and connecting me to the slopes under my feet. After graduating high school in New Zealand, I travelled to Europe to compete in the Freeride Junior Tour. I have done back to back winters since then and am now on my third season on the Freeride World Tour.

Who inspired you to do what you do?

I am always inspired by people that set goals and don't give up until achieving something they are passionate about and proud of.

What have been the biggest obstacles you have encountered?

The biggest obstacles I have found to be the transition to an adult and starting my own life. The real world can seem daunting and intimidating. It can be difficult to find meaning and satisfaction every day. However by staying motivated and having goals, you feel constant forward progress and that self-gratification is important to me.

Biggest triumphs?

  1. Receiving the Level 3 leadership award at my high school graduation.
  2. Completing an expedition length adventure race at 16 y/o.
  3. Winning a skiing event that ended my previous year with a fracture. The mental satisfaction and relief were very rewarding after significant tension at the top of the run.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

You can achieve anything you desire if you are focused and driven to do so.

What are the things that help you get through each adventure and why?

I have a personal drive to be the best I can. I want to achieve the goal in front of me. I often set challenges for myself that are deliberately difficult, as the feeling of achieving them always overcomes the temporal discomfort.

I have been lucky enough to have a solid mental state when under pressure that can rarely be bent from the task at hand. This applies to my life in outdoor adventures, expeditions and training.

What scares you and how do you deal with fear?

What scares me is failing to achieve goals I have set, or not reaching heights I know I could achieve. In a way this is where a lot of my drive is drawn from. I don't often have physical fear, except for heights and of course injuries. However, injury is something that is a random risk from doing things I love, and I have accepted that.

Why is getting outdoors so important in modern life?

Getting outdoor refreshes and grounds me constantly. It is my religon. It gives me perspective in day to day life, it helps to sync my mind and body and keep them healthy.

Amongst all the adventures you have been involved with, which is the most unforgettable and why?

Nepal 2018. travelling through remote valleys, over a pass with ropes and climbing to 6500m. This is mostly because it had all the elements in the trip. Challenges with a very short acclimatisation, amazing scenery, constant obstacles, heavy packs and great company.

Who has been an unsung in your life?

Without a doubt my brother Charlie has been an unsung hero in my life. He is an incredible figure to look up to in all aspects of life. He pushes me to be the best I can. Always leading by example and constantly trying to better himself. This brotherly connection can take most the credit for where I am with sport today.

What's next for you?

I am returning to New Zealand to explore a little, do some conservation work, continue my studies and ski off some peaks in the Southern Alps when winter comes!

Do you have a motto you live by?

Actions speak louder than words.

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