Editors Note:   Here's another Club Challenge ticked off.   This time it's for climbing the equivalent of Aoraki/Mt Cook in a day.   Super effort from Sheryl and Amanda.   Great planning, enthusiasm and determination from them both.   If you are inspired by what they've done - check out the Club Challenge section and take one on - there is a level of achievement for all level's of rider.   Click HERE to see the challenges on offer....

 

Aoraki / Mt Cook Challenge   February 22, 2015

Almost a year ago Amanda and I joined No Shadows and were immediately welcomed and challenged by Stu Downs. Completing the Taupo Cycle Challenge was the goal – which we did! After completing Taupo, and much rehashing of our journey, we realised hills were definitely not our strength, and decided to spend some time enjoying the descent side of that type of training. Fortunately or unfortunately, this coincided with the discovery of the Challenge section on the KCC website…. A quiet ‘what do you think?’ swiftly ceased to be quiet and there was no backing out. Damn.

So on February 22nd at 6:00am we met at the top and placed water and food strategically (so our support crew could pass them to us without having to get out of their deck chairs) before heading down for the first of 21 ascents. We realistically thought we could achieve 3 ascents per hour, hence the good supply of water and rotating support crews!

 

Tenacious and stubborn are words that describe us both J so we knew we could achieve this challenge, the question really was how long it would take us.

As we were about to start, Phil (another No Shadows rider) arrived to join us for 11 ascents. It was great to have the three of us doing this together in the pitch black, quiet morning. This quality of pitch black is definitely advantageous as you can’t see the incline ahead, so we managed the first 4 ascents relatively quickly (for us). Dawn in the Maungatuks by the way is breathtaking – we highly recommend it!

Much to our delight, Adrian arrived at about 7am to join us. Just as well we had a head start or it would have been a little depressing. As it was when Tony arrived at 8am and starting flying up and down with ease, it was time for headphones and some very poor singing – apologies all.

 

We were lucky to have quite a few visitors during the course of the day who joined us for some laps including Brent, Simon, Adam, & Hazel. Glynis also made a welcome appearance and completed several laps on her mountain bike before changing gear and popping up on the side of the road with her camera. How to smile when it hurts - I think we all did that rather well. Thanks guys for your support.

 

We planned to have a brief rest every 7 ascents to refuel and that worked quite well, until about lap 17 – then it stopped being fun and started being very challenging. The final ascent was excellent – just knowing we had completed all 21. And actually on the final descent cracking the 50km/hr mark was the icing for me!

  

So Tony caned it and blitzed the challenge. Adrian finished around the 6 hour mark, and Amanda and I finished just after the 7 hr mark.  Thanks to our families and friends for being there on the day for us!

Amanda would like to add that she fell in love with the Maungatuks on this auspicious day. I however think that the best part of any hill climbing challenge must be the descent!