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Kiwis return to Everest to unite the ski codes

Kiwis return to Everest to unite the ski codes

North Col Snowriders, a team of two snowboarders and two skiers, will be breaking all the rules in the world’s first ever combined ski and snowboard descent from Mt Everest’s North Col in May 2003.

Two Kiwis and two English will be uniting the codes exactly 50 years after Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing climbed to the top of Mt Everest in May 1953 to prove to the world that snowboarders and skiers are equal.

The launch will take place this week during ChamJam, Europe’s extreme ski and snowboarding event held in Chamonix, France and repeated in Kathmandu on 9 or 10 May 2003.

These four renegades will, over the next ten weeks, train, trek up and descend from 7,030 metres (23, 150 feet) above sea level.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something we’ve only dreamed of before. We’re not professional athletes, just four snowriders in hot pursuit to break the icy hostility between skiers and boarders and merge the two cultures as one.

“We don’t pretend to compare our mission with the awe-inspiring feats of many great mountaineers and snowriders that have shaped the course of our sport. Our aim is to turn up the heat and make people aware that whether you’re a skier or boarder, we all ride the same mountains and share the same passion,” said Toby Garland, North Col Snowriders expedition leader and five-time Boss des Bosses mogul champion with the Chamonix team, France.

The young team of two New Zealanders, 32-year old skier Toby Garland and 32-year old snowboarder Jonny Hughes and two English, 20-year old skier Abigail Pickett, 22-year old snowboarder Zoe Smalley and two, will be led by internationally acclaimed Himalayan mountain guide and New Zealander, Russell Brice.

The expedition will start on 7 May 2003 in Kathmandu, Nepal and on to the Forbidden City of Lhasa in Tibet. At over 12,000 feet, Lhasa is one of the highest capitals in the world and where the team will begin their acclimatisation. From here the North Col Snowriders will set off in jeeps across the Tibetan plateau towards Mt Everest.

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