Moun­taineer Grant all about the vi­sion

Central Otago Mirror - - LAKE HAYES A&P SHOW - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

If you wan­der to the far­thest cor­ner of Queen­stown Gar­dens, you’ll hap­pen upon a sculp­ture not just beau­ti­ful, but with real sig­nif­i­cance.

A stoic, metal­lic hand pro­trudes from the earth clasp­ing an ice pick in show of strength.

It’s an ode to leg­endry former Queen­stown moun­taineer Bruce Grant, 31, who died on de­scent from K2 in Pak­istan in 1995.

Other mem­bers of that ill-fated group, in­clud­ing Peter Hil­lary, elected to turn back with the pos­si­bil­ity of nasty weather, but Grant ploughed on. He reached the sum­mit of ar­guably the most chal­leng­ing climb in the world but was caught in the weather on the way down. Grant died. His body has not been re­cov­ered.

The Bruce Grant Me­mo­rial Trust was set up in his hon­our and played a part in erect­ing the me­mo­rial. It en­cour­ages the youth of Queen­stown to achieve their goals and as­pi­ra­tions through an­nual grants. Since 1995 more than $400,000 has been al­lo­cated.

Trust chair­man Craig Fer­gu­son says the sculp­ture was some­thing trustees felt ‘‘epit­o­mised Bruce’’.

‘‘The ice was what he was all about.’’

It was cre­ated by renowned Glenorchy artist and Grant’s brother-in-law Dan Kelly.

The me­mo­rial plaque reads: ‘‘You achieved your life vi­sion to stand on the sum­mit of K2. Suc­cumbed to the wrath of na­ture on de­scent.’’

On Au­gust 13, 2015, the trust cel­e­brated Grant’s life on the 20th an­niver­sary of his death.

RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

The Bruce Grant me­mo­rial in the Queen­stown Gar­dens.

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