Explorers Join Summit Challenge
Inspiring Explorers Alexander Hillary and Leah Stewart (both 2019) took part in the Himalayan Trust’s 2020 Summit Challenge, which was to climb the equivalent of the height of Everest across the month of March. A total of 8,848 metres! The Summit Challenge was to help remote mountain communities in Nepal, in honour of the work of Sir Edmund Hillary. Sir Ed founded the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s and built the first schools, hospitals and bridges in the region.
During March, Alexander climbed a total of 9210m, running up and down One Tree Hill most days! He said it was it was a tough thing to do drawing such a height out over a month, especially on Auckland Hills and that he had run every route up and down One Tree Hill.
Leah climbed 8,899m in Christchurch, doing a combination of mountain biking and trail running mostly in the Port Hills. “It was a great challenge, pushing my boundaries and increasing my fitness while doing what I love and helping others,” says Leah.
Continuing to Explore
Inspiring Explorers Georgina Archibald, Marco de Kretser and Leah Stewart (all 2019) continued their camaraderie built during their expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula last year and organised a hike to Mueller Hut, which is located in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in the South Island of New Zealand.
Georgina says, “It was really special to re-connect with Leah and Marco in person and take on another awesome adventure! Views from Mueller that night and early morning were spectacular.”
On the Move
We love hearing from our alumni about the development of their career and new jobs undertaken.
Rob Clendon (Conservator for three seasons) formally at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand, is now working on contract as a Conservator, Collection Care and Conservation at Australian Museum Research Institute.
Josefin Bergmark-Jimenaz (Conservator) is working as a Conservator at the Bolton Library at Limerick University. Josefin, a paper conservator, joined the Trust’s team in 2016 to help conserve the Cape Adare artefacts at the lab at Canterbury Museum in New Zealand. She discovered and conserved the Edward Wilson watercolour during this time.
Former Newshub reporter and presenter Isobel Ewing (Inspiring Explorer 2017) moved to Budapest in early January to take up a role as Budapest correspondent for CGTN (China Global TV Network).
Isobel says, “It’s been a bizarre time to move to a new job – foreign correspondent – in a largely non-English speaking country. The first story I filed for CGTN was in mid January, about Chinese New Year celebrations set to go ahead, despite what was unfolding in Wuhan.
A week later, the celebrations in Budapest were cancelled, amid unease in the Chinese community here about what was happening back home.
I had no idea at that point how quickly the story would develop. I spent 10 days in Geneva covering COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation headquarters, then within weeks I was confined to Hungary, reporting solely on the pandemic and making the call whether or not to fly home, as commercial flights rapidly dried up.
Much of the COVID news related to Hungary at the moment is political, after Parliament’s passing of emergency legislation giving Prime Minister Viktor Orban the power to rule by decree was met with a wave of international criticism.
The government has defended this as a necessary move to fight COVID-19, but there are fears about a democratic backslide and the erosion of press freedoms in a country where state-loyal and state-owned media already dominate. A fascinating place to be in this turbulent time in history, especially for a journalist.
It’s also disappointing, as I was meant to be covering the entire Balkans and Central Europe region, but now it’s unlikely we’ll be deployed outside Hungary until 2021.
We’re coming into spring in Hungary which is lovely, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the city and its iconic landmarks while they are completely empty of tourists. Lockdown rules aren’t too tight here, so I recently took my camping gear and cycled north to a forested area near the Slovakian border for a few days.”
Falcon Scott (Conservator) met the Trust’s Programme Manager (Artefacts) Lizzie Meek at Port Lockroy as he was visiting and she was working for UKAHT. Falcon worked with the Trust during the 2011-2012 Antarctic season on the heritage carpentry team at Cape Evans. He also wrote the forward to the Cape Evans conservation plan, as the grandson of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
William Pike (Inspiring Explorer 2017) and his wife Rebecca welcomed their new baby son Oliver.
Doug Henderson (Carpentry Conservator) joined the team at Cape Adare this season. Doug had previously worked on Hillary’s (TAE/IGY) Hut as it underwent its initial conservation work.
Jane Hamill (Conservator, 2009) and formerly with Auckland War Memorial Museum is studying for MDRR – Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience. Jane wintered with the Trust in Antarctica working as a conservator.
Aline Leclercq (Conservator, 2014) will give a presentation on paper conservation for an online lecture run by the University of Granada (Spain). Aline is looking forward to sharing her experience working as a conservator in Antarctica, where she was part of the winter team.