This Saturday morning Whanganui operational support firefighters Aaron Whitford and Thomas Signal will be taking in views of Auckland city from the top of the Sky Tower.

But they'll have to climb 51 flights, a total of 1103 steps while wearing 25kg of firefighting gear to get there.

The pair, from the River City (Whanganui) Volunteer Operational Support Team, are competing in the Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise money for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

The two-man team have been raising money and training for the event since December.


"We had a good training session with the Palmerston North guys a few weeks ago," Mr Whitford said. He believed they'd had about 30 training sessions over the past five months, mostly at Wanganui City College which had let them use its stairs.

He said they were feeling "pretty fit" and ready for the challenge. It will be his third stair climb and Mr Signal's first.

They were just $100 off their $2500 fundraising target and thanked a range of Whanganui businesses for helping with their fundraising.

Mr Whitford said the event would be live streamed on the New Zealand Fire Service YouTube page. He was due to set off at 9.25am while Mr Signal begins his ascent at 10.25am.

-To donate to Whanganui's only team at the stair challenge, visit