Illness cuts short brothers' climbing challenge

00:15, Feb 25 2013
Nathan and Nigel Watson
ATTEMPT ABANDONED: Christchurch brothers Nathan, left, and Nigel Watson, before setting out on their mission to climb 21 peaks.

Brothers Nathan and Nigel Watson are "gutted" they had to abandon their plan to conquer 21 peaks in 21 days after Nathan fell sick and began vomiting.

The brothers were five days into their quest to reach the summit of all 21 peaks higher than 2000 metres in Nelson Lakes National Park in as many days when they realised Nathan was not going to be able to make it.

Nigel, 25, said Nathan, 27, had not been feeling 100 per cent before they set out on their trip on Sunday February 10 but they had put that down to pre-expedition nerves.

By the third day he was feeling very unwell and was vomiting.

"His food and fluids intake were down and it began to become a safety issue.

"We pushed ourselves as far as we could but it got to the point where we had to either hold tight for a few days or get out.


"We called our support team and discussed it with them, but realistically, it was quite clear we had to get out. We are really gutted."

The next day the pair lugged their 25-kilogram packs down the 4 1/2-hour track from Downies Hut in the Matakitaki Valley to the Department of Conservation car park, about an hour's drive from Murchison where their support crew met them and took them back to Christchurch.

Nathan did not need to be admitted to hospital, and it was not known exactly what was wrong with him, but he was being monitored and his condition was improving, Nigel said.

Nathan said he and his brother were focusing on the positives and were proud of what they had achieved including raising $16,000 for the Kea Conservation Trust.