Alpine Panorama – A View to a Climb

Andy Buchanan



For lovers of the great outdoors and those captivated by the silent allure of Canterbury’s alpine horizon, Andy Buchanan’s Alpine Panorama: A view to a climb is a celebration of nature’s majesty and a tribute to the enduring connection between man and mountain.

The distant alpine skyline served as a magnetic force during Buchanan’s childhood, pulling him towards the untamed beauty of the region. Family holidays were spent tramping and skiing amidst the rugged peaks, creating enduring memories that fuelled a passion for the great outdoors.

In the Buchanan family home from the Summit Road atop the Port Hills, a cherished outline sketch adorned the wall – a visual guide to 133 peaks visible from this lofty perch. Inspired by this panoramic masterpiece, Andy Buchanan hatched a retirement plan:
to conquer each and every one of those peaks. What ensued was a journey of rediscovery and renewed enthusiasm, as he scaled familiar summits and ventured into uncharted territories.

This beautifully illustrated narrative is more than a recounting of mountaineering triumphs; it is a testament to a lifetime’s fascination with nature’s grandeur. Through vivid words and breath-taking full-colour images, Buchanan frames the peaks within a contemporary context, weaving in Māori lore, geographic insights, historical details, and engaging anecdotes.

Each page resonates with the author’s deep reverence for the alpine landscape, inviting readers to join him on a visual and literary odyssey through the soaring beauty that is the glorious backdrop beloved by all Cantabrians.

About the Author

Andy Buchanan is a semi-retired structural engineer who grew up on the Port Hills of Christchurch. After obtaining a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Canterbury in 1969, he alternated between engineering jobs and study abroad. He completed a Masters degree in California and a PhD in British Columbia, before establishing a structural consulting firm in Christchurch. Andy moved to the University of Canterbury in 1987, where he specialised in earthquake resistance, fire safety, and the carbon footprint of multi-storey timber buildings. He taught thousands of students before stepping down in 2014.
His busy retirement activities include part-time structural engineering and the pursuit of interests in family, forestry, and conservation, as well as frequent trips to the mountains to seek images for his oil paintings.

Look Inside

Click HERE to sample some chapters and spreads:



Author: Andy Buchanan

Pages: 184

Binding: Hardcovers with ribbon

Dimensions: 230mm x 280mm

Published: Late March 2024


“Andy Buchanan’s book is both a personal journey and an indispensable field guide that gives life to the mountains and deep valleys visible from the Port Hills. There is no better source of information than this book. It provides guidance and inspiration to the multitude of people who spend their time roaming the wild
natural playgrounds of western Canterbury.”

Hugh Logan, President of the NZAC, Canterbury Mountaineering Club