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Kiwis Rise To The Summit Day Challenge

Kiwis Rise To The Summit Day Challenge

On May 29, 2003, Sir Edmund Hillary will be in Kathmandu, marking the 50 year anniversary since he and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the world’s first successful ascent of Mt Everest.

Here in New Zealand, kiwis everywhere will also be celebrating that achievement, saluting Sir Edmund’s spirit and raising funds to carry on his life’s work through the activities of the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust. The funds raised by the Trust will go to a variety of organisations whose own objectives and purposes reflect those of the Trust. The criteria include environmental, outdoor and humanitarian causes, mostly in New Zealand such as the development of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre. There are 24 regional councils and 14 regional sports councils participating.

Summit Day, May 29, 2003 will see New Zealanders taking on challenges to be the best they can be. They will also record messages of support and congratulation to be relayed to Sir Edmund in Nepal via the Radio Network or they can record a personal message to Sir Edmund in diaries at Westpac branches.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust can do so through any of the 200 Westpac branches throughout New Zealand.

Some of the ways Summit Day will be marked will include:

Walking in Hillary’s Footsteps: Walking in Hillary’s Footsteps: 24 Wanganui children have been chosen from a competition developed by Sport Wanganui to “Walk in Sir Edmund Hillary’s Footsteps”. They’ll trek 12km, in relay style, from Upokongaro to the Durie Hill Tower summit, to replicate Sir Edmund’s walk from Base Camp to the summit of Mt Everest, timed to arrive at the peak at the same time Sir Edmund conquered Mt Everest 50 years ago. Contact: Ken Graham, Sport Wanganui, tel: 06 348-1440

Conquering Kurow Peak: Kurow Kids are taking on the Summit Day challenge with the whole Kurow Area School roll planning an assault on Kurow Peak (better known as Kurow Hill) via the “North Face”, “East Couloir” and “South Face” routes. Students will take on designated roles such as porter, sherpa, support climber, photographer, doctor, leader and lead climber. Contact: Dave Waugh, Deputy Principal Kurow Area School, tel: 03 436-0660

Challenge in the Capital: Wellingtonians will be encouraged to take part in an interactive experience in Civic Square and a “journey” to learn about New Zealand’s greatest achiever and celebrate his successful ascent of the world’s highest Mountain. There’ll be a rock-climbing wall and performers retelling the story of Sir Edmund Hillary. Dame Catherine Tizard, chair of the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust and Wellington Mayor, Kerry Prendergast will take part. Contact: Andy Nelson, Wellington City Council, tel: 04 801 3604

Timaru Trek: Timaruvians are being asked to meet at the bottom of the Piazza steps and climb to the top. A total of 553 people are required to make the combined ascents the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest. The climb starts at 12.30pm and will be led by the Timaru District Mayor and local GP Dr Dick Price who has climbed Mt Everest. Contact: Verna Parker, Sport South Canterbury, tel: 03 686-0751

Salute to Sir Edmund at the Brook: Sport Otago is co-ordinating a series of activities to acknowledge Sir Edmund’s vertical climb of 3,484 metres over 47 days from Base Camp to the Summit. In a 47-day period around Summit day, Otago people have been replicating the climb by climbing flights of stairs, recorded on a mountain shaped chart. On Summit Day, Otago school children will be at Carisbrook, forming the numerals “50” and the “Brook” will be open to Hillary Challenge participants to climb the many steps around the ground. Contact: Elaine Henderson, Sport Otago, tel: 03 474-6365

The Write Stuff: the Manakau City Council’s challenge to citizens is to write a short essay entitled “My Everest” with excerpts from selected pieces to be published in the newspaper, on the council’s website and broadcast on radio. On Summit Day, the Mayor, Kaumatua and local sporting heroes will climb a local mountain and hold a brief civic ceremony. Contact: David Hay, Manakau City Council, tel: 09263-7100

Mackenzie Country’s Mt John: Brede Arkless, an alpine guide from Twizel with Mt Everest experience will lead a climbing party up Mt John in Tekapo. Walk starts at 11am with a gold coin donation to the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust. Contact: Verna Parker, Sport South Canterbury, 03 686-0751

Walking in Waimate: Waimate folk are being encouraged to stretch their legs on summit day with a walk to the Old Post Office where they can cover the town’s Mt Everest replica with gold coin donation’s to the Trust. Contact: Verna Parker, Sport South Canterbury, 03 686-0751

Scaling the Tower in Palmerston North: Classic Hits will use a Fire Engine Ladder to reach the Clock Tower at 11.30am on Summit Day in Palmerston North along with a wide range of activities and displays organised by the Palmerston North City Council and Classic Hits. Contact: Jan Robertson, Palmerston North City Council Tel: 06 356-8199

Southern Alp: The Westpac Kelvin Street Branch in Invercargill is building a Mt Everest in the branch! It will have a gold coin trail (through donations) all the way around it. Along with other Westpac branches around the country, they will be using posters, flyers, banners and stickers to promote the event. A number of branch staff are dressing up in mountaineering gear on May 29, displaying colouring competition entries, working with local schools to get them to have mufti days on the 29th with a gold coin donation going to the Trust.

Picture perfect: The Mayor of Auckland City Hon John Banks QSO will unveil a contemporary portrait of Sir Edmund Hillary, commissioned by the Auckland City Council, in the foyer of the Auckland War Memorial Museum at 9am on Summit Day. A photo display of Sir Edmund’s life and colourful congratulatory messages from Starship children will also be on display in the Museum foyer.

Sunrise celebration: A celebratory walk will be made up the Port Hills in Christchurch to watch the sunrise will be held on May 29. Breakfast will be available afterwards at the Sign of the Kiwi at a cost of $10 per person. Walkers can meet at the Sign of the Takahe at 6am to walk up to the Sign of the Kiwi or meet at the Sign of the Kiwi at 6.30am for a shorter walk up Mt Cavendish and back. A prize will be given for the best 1953 style walking gear.

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