Climbing to new heights for Nepal

Hundreds of New Zealanders have been inspired by a Taranaki man and are set to climb summits to raise money for Nepal.

Sir Edmund Hillary would have turned 100 this year and to mark the centenary more than 200 participants have signed up to take on the Himalayan Trust Summit Challenge.

The challenge, which takes place during the month of March, is to climb 8848m – the height of Everest, with all funds raised going to Nepal.

New Plymouth’s Hasely Lobb helped develop the idea for the challenge.

“Last year, I hiked and biked trails around Mount Taranaki and even climbed flights of steps in New Plymouth to reach 8848m,” Lobb said.

“I had a fantastic time doing it and got a lot out of it – it certainly gets you fit.

“All the money we raise will make a huge difference to communities in the Everest region of Nepal – and help keep Sir Ed’s dream alive.”

General Manager of the Himalayan Trust John Loof said the Summit Challenge could be done anywhere, anytime in March.

“So far we have teams and individuals signing up from right across New Zealand and we have people running, walking, and biking it,” Loof said.

“To Sir Ed, his greatest achievement was not climbing to the summit of Everest but his help for the people of Nepal. The challenge will raise funds for life-changing education and healthcare projects in the Everest region of Nepal.

“Last year the event raised over $55,000, but we hope it will be even bigger and better this year – as a fitting celebration for the centenary of New Zealand’s greatest adventurer.”

To find out more and to take up the Himalayan Trust Summit Challenge visit summitchallenge.org.