In July, South Auckland high school students from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate took their first steps in the Trust’s In the Footsteps of Hillary Inspiring Explorers Expedition™, which will culminate in an attempt to climb Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku (South Island, New Zealand). The team spent a weekend at Mount Ruapehu in the central North Island of New Zealand to learn some of the essential mountain skills they will need for their expedition later in the year.
Expedition Leader and Trust General Manager Commercial and Partnerships, Marcus Waters, and mountain guide, Anna Keeling, taught the students about the basics of what to wear in the outdoors, how to use harnesses and fixed lines, how to walk with crampons, and carry out self-arrests.
The students have been working hard to increase their fitness and stamina with the help and mentoring of New Zealand rugby league legend Ruben Wiki, and his wife Santa Wiki. Funded primarily by CLM Counties Manakau, Ruben and Santa run weekly training sessions for the team at their Wiki Works Gym in Ōtara, South Auckland, along with regular weekend training walks.
Marcus says, “The students have developed an amazing team dynamic, they are incredibly supportive and encouraging of one another to try new things, push outside their comfort zone, and persevere when things get tough. Sir Edmund Hillary counts Tapaue-o-Uenuku as his first real mountain climb, and the opportunity for the students to follow in his footsteps will be an incredible experience. It will help them develop their explorer mindset.”
Learn more about the Inspiring Explorers Expeditions™