Five peaks in five days
[email protected] Eight South Canterbury climbers are nearing their $5000 fundraising goal for mental health in their pledge to conquer five South Island peaks in five days.
More than $4700 has been raised for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand by a group of six men and two women who have embarked on a stiff challenge of back-to-back treks.
The treks are, from yesterday until Tuesday, Avalanche Peak near Arthur’s Pass, Alex Knob near Franz Joseph, Dragonfly Peak near Wanaka, Ben Lomond near Queenstown, and Mt Ollivier in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
The revolving schedule of drivehike-drive-sleep would provide a mental and physical challenge hoped to inspire those battling depression, climber Willie Stone said.
‘‘The message is if you’re feeling that way, get busy,’’ he said.
Stone was grateful for the community’s support – especially the woman who donated enough snacks to keep all eight climbers fed on every hike.
Another notable donation was a scenic flight around South Canterbury, available as a prize to be won by those who donate.
He encouraged people them on the final hike to join to Mt Willie Stone Ollivier’s peak, the place of Sir Edmund Hillary’s first major climb in 1939, and estimated about 50 would be there at 9am on Tuesday to give it a go.
‘‘It will be awesome to see some fresh faces to help us get to the top of that last one.’’
He was ‘‘definitely a bit nervous’’ about how his body would cope with the minimal recovery time between climbs, but the overwhelming emotion was excitement.
‘‘We’re really amped just to get into it,’’ he said.
To survive the challenge, Stone will be drinking a litre of water before each peak and keeping his feet dry by switching socks at the top, to ward off blisters.
‘‘Any mechanical injury can stop you. It’s about making sure we make the right choices,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll be working together to overcome all that.’’
Steve Anderson, brothers Andrew and Hamish Norton, Josh Drummond, Rymi Sakimura, Becky Talbot, and Hamish Race will be tackling the challenge alongside Stone.
They will be documenting their journey on the Facebook page 5 for Health, which includes a link to the group’s donation page. Emergency services have so far declined to say how a suspicious Timaru fire started on Tuesday night.
The fire ripped through a wing of the former St Vianney’s Home of Compassion complex in Morgans Rd.
Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested, of Timaru, would not confirm yesterday how the fire started.
‘‘All I can say is it appears it’s been deliberately lit.
‘‘There’s no electricity inside the building so there’s no way it could have been sparked by that.’’
Fire investigator Craig Chambers said due to the police investigation he could not confirm how the blaze was lit.
‘‘It was definitely intentional,’’ he said.
Chambers said the blaze was contained in the eastern wing of the complex.
‘‘The whole top level of the wing is destroyed, plus a portion of the second level where the debris has dropped down and started a fire,’’ Chambers said.
The fire started just minutes after a serious home invasion occurred at a neighbouring property.
Police are searching for two men in relation to the assault.
Quested said as part of the investigation into both matters, a link was an ‘‘obvious avenue’’ to explore.
Tackling a five-peaks-in-five-days challenge to raise money for the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation are, clockwise from left, Andrew Norton, Steve Anderson, Willie Stone, Hamish Norton, Josh Drummond, Becky Talbot and Rymi Sakimura.