A team of hardy, adventurous Wellingtonians climbed Tarikākā/Mt Kaukau 37 times in 33 hours on Saturday, 7 March – all to raise funds for the communities we work with in Nepal.
Team Tarikākā 8848 are taking part in the Himalayan Trust Summit Challenge, which challenges New Zealanders to climb 8848m, the height of Everest, during the month of March to raise funds for Nepal.
Team member Tom Hutton said: “We managed to complete our 37 laps in just under 33 hours, including a 3-hour break to sleep between 1am and 4am.
In total our team members completed 46 laps (Hannah 15, Tom 12, Liam 10, Possum 9) for 11,173m of elevation gain, and approximately 150km horizontal distance.”
“As of Monday the team is “stiff but not broken” and well on the way to recovery. Now to planning the rest of the month’s efforts!”
So far the team have clocked 18,221m of elevation and an incredible $1,613 funds raised – with just under three weeks of the challenge left to go.
Tom added: “We decided to take on the Summit Challenge as we all share a love for the outdoors, helping other people, and for our maunga Tarikākā.
“We’ve all been lucky enough to grow up in New Zealand, where we’ve had access to quality education, water, and good healthcare.
“We’d wager that almost every visitor to the Himalayas also had these basic services when they were growing up. But while Everest’s slopes are crawling with tourists achieving their goal of
a lifetime, the local villagers struggle with access to education,
safe water and basic healthcare.
“We’re doing the Summit Challenge because it’s a chance to change lives in a place that we all feel a strong connection to.”
To complete the Himalayan Trust Summit Challenge, participants need to ascend the height of Everest – that’s an average of 295m every day. They can take it on anywhere they like, complete it solo or share the climb between a team, go hard out and tackle the climb in one weekend, or spread the challenge out over the month.
The team will join Sir Edmund Hillary’s grandsons George and Alex Hillary in taking on the challenge this year.
“We think Grandad would be proud to witness the Summit Challenge and see that so many New Zealanders still support his work,” said George.
“He was a no-fuss sort of guy, but his work in Nepal was a pretty big deal to him. He would be thrilled to see all the positive work still taking place in Nepal.”
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Find out more about The Summit Challenge