Adventure on meagre budget a challenge

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2013
Grant Rawlinson
Fairfax NZ
MOTIVATED: Alan Siva, left, and Grant Rawlinson are on an unusual quest which they hope will inspire people to have a go at an adventure.

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Kiwi adventurer Grant Rawlinson is challenging people to challenge themselves.

Rawlinson and Alan Silva are in the final stages of their Peak to Peak adventure, travelling the 1200 kilometres from the summit of Mt Ruapehu to the summit of Aoraki Mt Cook by climbing, cycling and paddling.

Yesterday they were taking a day break in Twizel, before biking into the Mt Cook Village, from where they would walk in to start their ascent.

Rawlinson, based in Singapore, said they were looking for a "unique adventure" close to home.

"We wanted to do something on a shoestring, proving you could have an adventure without spending lots and lots of money. He believed no-one had done it before. That also made it interesting."

Rawlinson said he had borrowed an ice axe and crampons for Mt Ruapehu, they had floated down the Whanganui River on an inflatable kayak and he had borrowed his wife's mountainbike for the North Island leg.

They had also crossed Cook Straight in a double kayak without a support craft.

"We are hoping to inspire people to get out and challenge themselves. You don't need a lot of money, just use your imagination and creativity."

Rawlinson said because the weather had been kind they were ahead of schedule. They expected the 60km Cook Strait crossing to be done over two days, but reached Picton 10 hours after departing from Makara Beach.

Rawlinson said he hoped the weather would remain kind for their summit over the weekend.

"We will walk in over two days and go from the Plateau Hut."

He had climbed Aoraki Mt Cook once before, while Silva was an experienced hand, having done it sixth times before.

The 39-year-old said he had completed lots of adventures but his toughest challenge was the ascent of Mt Everest via the north ridge in 2011 and 2012.

Rawlinson said he almost died on the first attempt with a pulmonary oedema (fluid accumulation of the lungs) but went back the following year to complete it.

Both adventurers are also hoping to raise money for a number of volunteer rescue departments, including those who saved the life of Mr Rawlinson's sister.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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