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Kiwis attempt world-firsts with Hillary Expedition Grants

Media Release


Kiwis attempt world-firsts with Hillary Expedition Grants

The 2013 Hillary Expeditions will send seven teams of New Zealanders on journeys that will test their skill, courage, determination, physical boundaries and much more in some of the world’s most difficult and sometimes unexplored terrain.

Administered by Sport New Zealand, the Hillary Expedition Grants will help fund Kiwi adventurers in Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Argentina, the USA, Pakistan and New Zealand. All of the expeditions will involve world-class outdoor challenges, including:

• The first ascent of the unclimbed White Wave, a 6800 metre peak in the Himalayas.
• Climbing 21 peaks over 2000 metres in 21 Days, in Nelson Lakes National Park.
• Breaking the fastest speed climbing record on the Nose in Yosemite National Park, USA. And being the first woman to free climb and link El Capitan and Half Dome.
• The first to kayak the Grand Canyons of the Chimbu River in Papua New Guinea.
• Climbing the highest mountain in the American Continent, blind.
• The first woman to summit the Gasherbrum mountains (GI and GII) in the same season, both of which are over 8000 metres, on the Pakistan and Chinese border.
• Climbing Mt Cook, cycling up the South Island to Picton, and then kayaking the Cook Strait.

Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin, who sat on the selection panel, said the adventures planned by the expedition teams are truly inspiring and he hopes they will encourage Kiwis to take on the outdoors.

“Almost 60 years ago Sir Edmund Hillary inspired us as a nation, these grants honour that history. The adventurers we’re funding on these expeditions are like the high performance athletes of the outdoor sector,” Miskimmin said.

“We are an adventurous and pioneering nation. Kiwis set their sights high and these expeditions are a great example of that. Each person will need to be physically and mentally tough to succeed. They’ll need to plan well, yet be ready to deal with the unexpected. Most of these are world-first challenges and I hope that, like Hillary, these adventurers go on to create their own inspiring stories for other New Zealanders to share.”

Information about all seven teams and their expeditions can be found at www.hillaryexpeditions.org.nz. The website will be regularly updated to keep the public informed of each expedition’s progress.

“These expeditions should inspire New Zealanders to consider getting into the outdoors themselves. Most of these adventurers started out in New Zealand. We’ve got a great country that offers brilliant geography for all of us, local DOC tracks, mountains, rivers and coastlines. For those interested in giving it a go, I’d encourage them to carefully plan their own expedition safely, have a look at www.adventuresmart.org.nz before going, and then get out there and make it happen.”

Sport NZ introduced the Hillary Expedition Grants scheme in 2002, for extreme adventures and world-class challenges in the outdoors. Objectives of the scheme include encouraging inspirational adventures, inspiring others to challenge themselves in the great outdoors, and reinforcing that New Zealand is a nation of great adventurers and achievers.

Ends

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