What’s even more of a challenge than climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest? Doing it twice - with a child on your back.
Detective Matt Valentine, of Tauranga CIB, entered the 2017 Mount Everest Challenge, which gives participants 50 days to climb Mount Maunganui 38 times – the equivalent of Everest’s 8848 metres.
The challenge is a fund-raiser for Tauranga Women’s Refuge, specifically for its work with children. Because of this – “and just for a bit of fun” – Matt decided to carry his three-year-old son Tom with him.
Matt vowed that if he managed to raise $1000 he and Tom would try to make it 50 ascents. That target tumbled so Matt made it 76 ascents – twice the original intent.
They set to it at a rate of ten climbs a week and completed the 76th one day before the 7 April cut-off.
“The first 30 or so were a bit of a struggle – up there each and every day, sometimes twice, through rain and wind because we’ve had some really inclement weather.”
He says time working on the Child Protection Team convinced him Women’s Refuge was a good cause “and something I could teach my boy about”.
“It’s good valuable time together. We do a lot of talking on the way up. Well, he does the talking, I do the walking.”