Waiheke Marketplace : September 7th 2011
6 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 NEWS extra content, extra early, extra special! online editions Essential local news available now, wherever you are...and it's FREE! Just click on "Latest Edition" at www.waihekemarketplace.co.nz Waiheke Marketplace online editions have exciting extras for all our readers -- including video and back issues. Get online now for a total multi media experience with the latest local news -- anywhere, anytime. High school first XV gets set to take on Tongan visitors Talking tactics: Waiheke High School first XV with coach Ben Alexander. Rugby fans after a taster for the upcoming world cup should get down to the Onetangi Sports Park tomorrow to see inter- national players from Tonga take on the Waiheke High School first XV. The squad arrives on the island in the morning and will spend time at the high school where the hospitality students will entertain them with morning tea. The squad includes 82 Tongan players and nine officials but those playing will be under 85kg. Their arrival at the sports park at 2pm will be marked by a small powhiri followed by a performance of the school haka with the game starting at 4pm. Among the high school players will be Nikolasi Unga who hails from Tonga -- his cousin will be among the squad making the trip. The High School team nar- rowly lost the final of the Auckland secondary schools fourth grade championships recently. Coach Ben Alexander says the match against the Tongan team is a massive opportunity''. Especially given that it's going to take place on the eve of the Rugby World Cup.'' Pearl aims to climb seven summits One intrepid ex-Waiheke High School student has set off on a year long mission to fulfil her childhood dream. Gill Alcock finds out what's involved. On top of Mt Elbrus: Pearl Going, right, reaches the highest peak in Russia with Kiwi climber Mike Roberts. In her day gear: Pearl is sponsored by adidas. Photo: CALYPSO PAOLI Pearl Going is on her way to becoming the first New Zea- land woman to climb the seven summits''. She grew up on Waiheke and attended Waiheke High School and remembers being taught by Bev Young. She was also a member of the Pony Club when Meredith Bradley was head instructor. While a member, she earned her B certificate and went on to compete for the club at open level in the city. Pearl says her biggest claim to fame, however, was as the featured rider on the front cover of the pony pages'', the local phone direc- tory in 2000. And she believes she can claim to be the Lazy Lounge's first customer. Now the adventurous and sporty young woman has taken 18 months away from her job to achieve her dream of climbing the seven summits. The phrase refers to the highest peak on each of the seven continents. Lists vary slightly, so Pearl is aiming to conquer eight just to make sure. While her first objective is to become the first New Zealand woman to reach all the summits, her second objective is to break British climber Annabel Bond's 2005 record of climbing seven of them in 360 days. As Pearl intends to climb all eight in that time it is a tough schedule and she liter- ally has time for nothing but climbing over the next year. Two have been crossed off the list -- Kosciuszko in Aust- ralia, and Elbrus in Europe. Reaching the summit of Elbrus last month immedi- ately put Pearl in the record books. She became the first New Zealand woman to climb this highest peak in the Caucasus in Russia and she was also one of the youngest women to climb it from the north side. Her guide on the climb was fellow Kiwi and Everest legend Mike Roberts from New Zealand-based Adven- ture Consultants. Pearl says she has basi- cally given herself over to the director of the company, another Kiwi, Guy Cotter, who was recognised as the world mountaineer of the year, in her ambition to fulfil her dream. She took on the north side of Elbrus as the more usual south side route was closed due to the killing of some climbers by terrorists. She says the south side is more developed and those who climb it can stay in five star hotels before catching a chair lift followed by a snow cat to 5000m then literally walking on up to the summit. The north side is an entirely different story, she says. It is a full-on expedition involving a seven-hour ride in an army truck to a tent base camp at 2500m then a two day climb, with all the necessary gear, up to Camp One at 3600m. Weather per- mitting, climbers can move up to a higher tent camp at 4700m. The summit is reached after a 1000m climb over an exposed ridge and, once the summit has been conquered, it's straight back down to base camp all in one day. Only half the team heading for the summit of Elbrus made it. Luckily Pearl, 26, is young and fit. At 165cm she weighs only 46kg so she is on a special diet to build up her weight and strength. Pearl says while she is taking a crack at Annabel Bond's record her first objec- tive is to be New Zealand's first women to reach all the summits. I suppose growing up on Waiheke and horse riding at that competitive level had a hand in preparing me for mountain training. It took a fair bit of commitment, cold early mornings sometimes spent out in the rain, every day after school. Waiheke taught me some things that are coming in handy now.'' I'm going with the very best. I found that out stand- ing on the summit of Elbrus after coming up the North face. I felt enormously privi- leged to take that summit with Mike Roberts, a fellow Kiwi, and one of the best mountain guides in the world,'' Pearl says. PEARL'S HIT-LIST OF SUMMITS Kilimanjaro, Africa at 5892 metres. Vinson Massif, Antarctica at 4892 metres. Kosciuszko, Australia at 2228 metres. Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia at 4884 metres. Elbrus, Europe at 5642 metres. Mount McKinley, United States, at 6194 metres. Aconcagua, Argentina South America at 6962 metres. Everest in the Himalayas, the highest peak at 8848 metres.
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