Nepal ex­pe­di­tion on hold

Trip de­layed due to wine har­vest, now post­poned

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A busy wine har­vest saved a group of Cromwell Col­lege stu­dents from be­ing caught in the deadly earth­quake in Nepal.

Six teenagers were due to fly on on Fri­day to the Nepal where they were go­ing to trek to the small and poor vil­lage of Phortse.

The orig­i­nal school was built by Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary in 1961 and some of the money raised by the teenagers was go­ing to help the school with main­te­nance.

Well-known New Zealand climber and vet­eran of many trips to the Hi­malayas, Kim Lo­gan was men­tor­ing the stu­dents and was ac­com­pa­ny­ing them.

‘‘I think ev­ery­one has to have a bit of luck in life... The last two years we have gone ex­actly when the earth­quake hit.

‘‘This year I put it off a week. I work in the wine in­dus­try and har­vest is full on so I put it off as late as pos­si­ble un­til har­vest was fin­ished,’’ Lo­gan said.

He typ­i­cally took groups around this time of year be­cause it was pre-mon­soon sea­son, he said. ‘‘It is a sta­ble time to go.’’ A de­ci­sion was made ear­lier in the week, hav­ing spo­ken to friends on the ground in Nepal in­clud­ing Peter Hil­lary and his wife Yvonne, that the trip be post­poned un­til Septem­ber, Lo­gan said. ‘‘This catas­tro­phe changes ev­ery­thing.

‘‘Of course there is al­ways dis­ap­point­ment but they un­der­stand there are so many big is­sues they have to deal with in the towns and tourism is prob­a­bly the least im­por­tant – although long term it’s one of the main in­comes for the Nepalese peo­ple.

‘‘In the mean­time they will be

Cromwell teenagers Jack Har­ri­son, Kate Guild­ford, Ge­or­gia Haggerty, Hazel Gibson, An­gelina Rolston (sit­ting) and Jack Hawkins (inset) who were meant to be trav­el­ling to Nepal in on Fri­day.

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