Story: Ohau Challenge

When did you last do something that really scared you?

There are challenges in all aspects of life - and most of them are thrown our way whether we like it or not. But sometimes we need to take the helm and throw a challenge in front of ourselves. There’s great satisfaction if you can accomplish a challenge you’ve set yourself. I’m naturally driven by challenges but, with recent restrictions, it’s been hard to take any major ones on. This year, it’s been all about staying safe and not venturing too far; staying close to home and not doing too much. However, taking risks, feeling scared, pushing boundaries and not knowing what the outcome will be is part of life and helps us to grow. So, in recent months, I came up with a challenging concept that would really scare me.

The challenge: To complete four summits of the Ōhau Ski Access Road climb in one attempt - gaining a total of 3,800m. This is just over the height of Aoraki/Mt Cook (3,724m), New Zealand’s tallest mountain. I wanted to pay homage to the iconic destination and the old school climbers who had ascended the mountain in years gone by. 

The climb: It’s 9.6km in length, gains 940m in elevation and is extremely steep, with a gradient average of 10.1%.