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Thousands Climbing Local Summits For Sir Ed

Media Release
Wednesday, April 9

Thousands Climbing Local Summits For Sir Ed

The Summits for Ed tribute tour begins its final stages this week and organisers are predicting 8000 to 10,000 climbers will have participated by the time the tour ends at Cape Reinga on April 19.

OPC Hillary Centres chief executive Grant Davidson said the numbers have gradually increased as the tour progressed through the South Island and lower North Island.

In spite of rain on the West Coast, Nelson, Blenheim and Wellington, good numbers of people have still turned up to do the walk to the top of their local summits. The youngest has been a few months old and at the other end of the scale sprightly walkers in their 80s have joined the tribute tour.

Instead of flowers people are contributing stones or pebbles from their favourite place such as a stream, beach or a garden. These are being gathered up by members of Lions Clubs who are assisting the tour, and along with stones from students and schools they will form part of the memorial cairn for Sir Ed at the OPC Hillary Centre at Tongariro near Mt Ruapehu.

Families, businesses or organisations wanting their names permanently recorded can make a $150 donation for an engraved rock. Rocks donated by schools will be placed at the memorial at no charge.

Money raised will go to the Hillary Foundation to fund at risk teenagers or enable financially disadvantaged young people to attend an OPC Hillary Centre course.

Sixteen-year-old Ed Hillary had a life changing experience while on a school visit to Mt Ruapehu that began his love of the outdoors and mountain climbing and led to his extraordinary life of exploration and community service.

A four year old in Bluff collected a stone that became a favourite toy two years ago and he agreed to add it to the growing collection. The Mayor of Queenstown Clive Geddes produced a flat stone from a place where he and Sir Ed had spent time skimming stones across the water many years ago.

In Palmerston North another youngster handed over a rock that had been picked up at Antarctica, while during the Taupo summit climb the stone memorial gift to Sir Ed came from the beaches of Gallipoli. Summits for Ed is sponsored by Genesis Energy, Toyota NZ, SPARC and Lions Clubs of New Zealand.

For further information Contact
OPC Hillary Centres chief executive Grant Davidson Tel 027 474 3471
OPC Hillary Centres chairman Grant McKenzie Tel 021 702 021
Summits for Ed climb leader Darren Ashmore Tel 0275 301 226
Released by Iain Morrison Tel 021 688 668

The remaining local summits still to climb with confirmations of interesting attendees where possible:


10 April Whakatane/Opotiki - Toi's Pa lookout
8:00 am Meeting point - Whakatane Visitors Centre (on The Strand), walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending Graham Hanlon - Deputy Mayor of Whakatane, Neil Jones - Adventure racer, plus schools, councillors and walking groups

10 April Mt Maunganui/Tauranga - Mt Maunganui
4:30 pm Meeting point: corner Marine Parade & Adams Ave (on beach front), summit walk 60mins

Confirmed attending Paraolympian Fiona Southern, Mr G" aerosol artist Sir Ed painting with work selling on TradeMe with bids of over $3k plus schools, councillors and walking groups

11 April Rotorua - Mt Ngongataha
8:00 am Meeting point: carpark before locked gate, Mountain Rd (nr cafe), summit walk 45mins

Confirmed Attending Mayor Kevin Winters Darryl Shelford (Rugby - NZ Sports Academy), Bishop Kingi (80 odd years old) and Mitai Rolleston (in his 70s) - kaumatua of Ngati Whakaue. They also said that they are quite capable of walking to the summit trig. Schools, councillors and walking groups

11 April Tokoroa/Putaruru/Cambridge/Hamilton - Maungatautari
4:30 pm Meeting point: end of Hicks Rd (opp. Maungatautari School), walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending local councillors, schools, walking groups

14 April Ngaruawahia/Hamilton/Huntly - Mt Hakarimata
8:00 am Meeting point - end of Parker Rd (off Hakarimata Rd), walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending Mayor of Hamilton Bob Simock. Walking groups, tramping clubs, schools and families

14 April Thames/Paeroa - The Lookout (Waiotahi Track)
4:30 pm Meeting point - end of Waiotahi Rd (Thames), walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending schools walking groups, local councillors


12 April South Auckland - Mangere Mountain
8:00 am Meeting point: end of road into Mangere Mt Domain, nr clubrooms, summit walk 30mins

Confirmed attending schools, community groups and councillors

12 April East/central Auckland - One Tree Hill
4:30 pm Meeting point: large carpark nr Archery clubrooms on Kenneth Myers Drive, summit walk 30mins

Confirmed attending Nepalese community at least one in national costume. Councillors, schools and community groups.

13 April North Shore Auckland - North Head
8:00 am Meeting point: Cheltenham beach, end of Cheltenham Rd, walk time to summit 30mins

Confirmed attending Mayor Andrew Williams, schools, councillors, families groups

13 April West Auckland - Pukematekeo (Waitakere Ranges). Meeting point: carpark near rangers station on
4.30pm Fall Rd (through golf course), off Te Henga Rd. Walk time to summit 45mins.

Confirmed attending Schools, councillors, walking groups

16 April Warkworth - The Dome (Dome Valley - off S.H 1)
8:00 am Meeting point: Dome tearooms carpark on S.H 1, walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending Graham Dingle who started outdoor pursuits centre in close association with Sir Ed. Schools, councillors and community groups.

16 April Whangarei - Parihaka (from Mair Park)
4:30 pm Meeting point: Mair Park (Banff Rd entrance), walk time to summit 60mins

Confirmed attending schools, walking groups, clubs.

17 April Kaikohe - Te Ahuahu
8:00 am Meeting point: 26 Hariru Rd (off S.H. 1 at Te Ahuahu) please park in field as directed, walk to summit 30mins

Confirmed attending Nathan Faavae adventure athlete. Laurie Buyers Olympic and commonwealth cyclist, Joe Carr regiona councillors, walking groups, families.

17 April Russell - Flagstaff Hill (Russell)
4:30 pm Meeting point - reserve at the north end of The Strand, Russell. Walking time to summit 30mins

18 April Kerikeri - Ake Ake point GR: 062 669
8am Meeting point: Opito Bay (at the end of Opito Bay Rd, off Redcliffs Rd), walk time to summit 20mins

19 April Cape Reinga - Lighthouse
4:30 pm Meeting point - Cape Reinga carpark, walk time to summit 30mins
Confirmed attending Lady Hillary grandson Sam Mulgrew. Local iwi, schools and community groups


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