Climbing Te Mata Peak more than 35 times in the space of eight hours is a mammoth undertaking for a retired New Zealand Army sergeant - although it is all in the name of charity to raise awareness and money for the Armed Forces Veterans.

Andrew McCrory, and his wife and retired NZ Army Captain, Kathleen McCrory, have taken it upon themselves to bring people together for the No Duff Charitable Trust Everest Challenge Hawke's Bay.

The registered charity is committed to providing immediate support for veterans in need and although the couple have never suffered post-traumatic distress disorder personally, it is a cause close to their hearts.

The challenge is welcome to all tomorrow and will test those daring enough to walk the 250 metres from the Tararua car park to the top of Te Mata Peak more than 35 times in an attempt to walk the height of Mt Everest, which stands at 8845m.


Despite the Everest challenge lasting 50 days, Mr McCrory decided it would be a unique thing to do all at once.

"We thought we'll do it in the Bay because this is such a good cause and there are quite a lot of ex- serving armed forces people here.

"It is going to be a team effort because to do that to yourself in one day is crazy."

In preparation, he and Mrs McCrory wife have been walking the peak almost every morning with a friend.

Mr McCrory served in the army for 14 years, retiring in 2007, while Mrs McCrory, who served in Afghanistan, retired in 2009.

"We know people who have been affected by post traumatic stress disorder and that's the whole point of it just to say that we are here to help as well so that is why we are doing it.

"It's more about raising awareness to let people know that there are a lot of people out there that can support you and everybody's keen to support as well.

"It is a voluntary organisation and we put our hands up to be a connection from them to people in Hawke's Bay. We've only been here coming up four years and thought it would be an awesome thing to do."

So far, he has 54 people who are joining him from 8am to 4pm on Sunday and is expecting a total of around 70.

"If everyone wants to give a koha of a gold coin or something that would be neat and then we will donate that money to the No Duff Charitable Trust."

The challenge was originally set up in Mount Maunganui.

For more information visit: