Cop off to con­quer world first

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Mike Bos­ton is ei­ther in­cred­i­bly smart and fit or in­cred­i­bly stupid – ei­ther way he is about to em­bark on a life-threat­en­ing, world-first moun­tain climb.

The Mata­mata po­lice­man is less than one month back from climb­ing the Aconcagua sea to sum­mit, a 6962m mon­ster that had him retch­ing, freez­ing and near ex­haus­tion, and he is al­ready pre­par­ing for an­other even ‘‘more dan­ger­ous’’.

Bos­ton is help­ing friend Dave Wil­liams be­come the first per­son to climb the high­est moun­tain in each con­ti­nent from the near­est fea­si­ble coast­line, and all pas­sion­ately in the name of men’s men­tal health.

Wil­liams lost two friends to sui­cide and the fire that stirred in­side him af­ter­wards has al­ready taken him to top of four sum­mits Auck­land school teacher Dave Wil­liams has set out to be the first per­son to climb the high­est moun­tain in each con­ti­nent from the near­est fea­si­ble coast­line: 1. 2228m Kosciuszko, Aus­tralia 2. 4897m Vin­son Mas­sif,

and Bos­ton one.

‘‘[Dave] says they bat­tle their own moun­tain so he calls it bat­tling his own moun­tain, lit­er­ally.’’

Bos­ton said he very nearly gave in dur­ing his 12 day trek in Ar­gentina yet De­nali in Alaska, a trek that in­cludes traips­ing across a never-be­fore-walked glacier, will be a whole new level of dan­ger­ous.

When he ar­rived in Aconcagua Park on Jan­uary 8 he couldn’t Antarc­tica 3. 5633m El­brus, Rus­sia 4. 5895m, Kil­i­man­jaro, Tan­za­nia 5. 6194m, De­nali, Alaska 6. 6962m, Aconcagua, Ar­gentina

7. 8850m, Mt Everest, Nepal

be­lieve what he had signed up for.

‘‘I looked up at Aconcagua and hon­estly my brain was un­able to process how it would be pos­si­ble to climb to the top.’’

He has been shot at and fended off sharks, but the high­est moun­tain Bos­ton had climbed be­fore Aconcagua was Mount Ton­gariro.

So ad­just­ing to the al­ti­tude was huge.

‘‘I was stum­bling around like a drunk . . . I was hon­estly and lit­er­ally tast­ing blood in my mouth through my cheeks. I wob­bled and went to fall over but Dave grabbed me and held me up. We were at 5600 me­ters and this was no joke.’’

In his blog, Bos­ton said there were hard calls to make as they neared the sum­mit.

‘‘[I didn’t want to be]the rea­son th­ese two don’t sum­mit. I had to be all in for this or re­treat now."At just 200 me­tres to go they joined a group that were about to throw in the towel.

‘‘Ev­ery­one was shat­tered, a cou­ple were turn­ing back. ‘Come on’ [Dave] said.. ‘‘It’s only a cou­ple more hours!, three tops!’’

And they all stum­bled their way to the top.

‘‘[Dave] was welling up with tears and that was it, we both lost it. We climbed up on top all three of us to­gether.’’

The for­mer gym­nast, who wasted away to just 64kg, leaves for Mt De­nali next month.

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