Four wheels proved no barrier to Grace Stratton's journey to the top of Rangitoto.

And neither should they.

The Warkworth teen and her friend, Devonport plumber and extreme sportsman Jesse James Cassrels, want to show that physical impediments - whether from disability, confidence or fitness - don't mean you have to miss out.

Stratton has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Cassrels wanted her to experience climbing to the summit of Auckland's famous volcano, but its rocky, gravelly track isn't designed for wheelchairs.

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So he and three friends carried the 18-year-old to the top.

A video posted online showing the adventure has been shared thousands of times.

Climbing Rangitoto isn't Grace Stratton and Jesse James Cassrels first adventure - six months ago he took her jetskiing. Photo / Alice van Schaik
Climbing Rangitoto isn't Grace Stratton and Jesse James Cassrels first adventure - six months ago he took her jetskiing. Photo / Alice van Schaik

Stratton told the New Zealand Herald the journey to the top of Rangitoto was not only "super cool", it was a chance for her and Cassrels to change attitudes.

"For both of us it's about shifting those stereotypes around what you think is possible for yourself, both for physical fitness and physical disability."

There were times her body "did not fit into the body norms" for certain things, but her attitude was to "design her own place" in response.

Usually she was positive about that, among her ventures is running her own blog, and she's also taken on freelance writing assignments, most recently covering Fashion Week.

But there were tough times and it was during one, about six months ago, that she met Cassrels after requesting an interview.

He remembers the Carmel College student telling him she had "done nothing adventurous".

So he took her jetskiing.

Her world opened up even more.

"I was able to acknowledge that there are things you might not be able to do as easy as other people, but you can still achieve things."

So when he surprised her by inviting her to go up Rangitoto as part of a group he was leading on behalf of his extreme sports' sponsor Lululemon, she wasn't going to say no.

"Our natural approach is to try and, 'right, now we've succeeded, what's next?'"

Climbing Rangitoto isn't Grace Stratton and Jesse James Cassrels first adventure - six months ago he took her jetskiing. Photo / Alice van Schaik
Climbing Rangitoto isn't Grace Stratton and Jesse James Cassrels first adventure - six months ago he took her jetskiing. Photo / Alice van Schaik

Cassrels said he and his friends used a strop and a wakeboard handle to help carry Stratton, taking about 40 minutes to reach the summit and 30 minutes to complete the return journey.

It was worth every muscle strained to see Stratton's smile as they reached the top, he said.

And to continue to spread their message of leaving no one behind and giving everything a go.

"We owe it to ourselves to live our best lives and to assist in creating a culture which doesn't pity the individual who is different, but enables them to succeed.

"If we do that we might just slowly start to change the world."