Ashhurst volunteer firefighter Grant Marshall faced his fear for the third time and took on the Skytower Stair Challenge at the weekend.
He voiced his nerves on Friday as he thought about the looming 1103 steps over 51 floors he'd have to climb donned in structural firefighting kit that weighed 25kgs, and breathing through regulation kit.
Back in the city on Monday he said words couldn't truly describe the feeling from doing the challenge.
"You have total strangers at a cafe stand up and clap and cheer your squad as you walk to the start area.
"Strangers you've never met wearing the kit as well, pat you on the back and pass words of encouragement.
"And afterwards you share an elevator with someone else you've never met and one look and they say 'Skytower?', and next you're shaking hands and talking like an old mate."
He checked his beats per minute as he climbed - his heart rate was 168bpm.
There were three from Ashhurst in the team.
"Cameron who for his first year posted a damn good time, and Tyrone who despite some bad luck with his kit, still smashed it."
Marshall took the time to help his teammate and overall his time was 20 minutes slower than the last challenge.
"It's not a timed event for me, it's a let's do this together event."
Once at the top Marshall had another fear to conquer, heights.
But he kept a healthy distance back from the glass floor.
And there's also the lift, suspended at the side of the tower with its views over the Auckland CBD.
Marshall said the team prepared for the challenge at Zenith Fitness and the use of the FMG building stairs.
He's already thinking ahead to 2020.
"Bring it on - I ain't done yet."
+ The Skytower Stair Challenge is in its 15th year and has raised $7 million for Leukaemia and blood cancer NZ.
+ Over 1000 firefighters from New Zealand, Australia, the US, Chile and Germany face the stair challenge.
+At 328m the Sky Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere