It will be Aaron Whitford's fourth run up the Sky Tower but he's not expecting it to be any easier.

The volunteer operational support firefighter is the sole Whanganui representative in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge which is on this Saturday in Auckland.

Firefighters from around the country and a handful from overseas will climb 1103 steps in 51 flights of stairs, with 25kg of kit to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).

So far Mr Whitford, who is also a rural fire fighter, has raised about $1600 for the cause, mainly through selling raffle tickets and running bucket collections.


He has been training for six months using the Durie Hill steps. It was all worth it for the cause, he said.

"It's just about helping other families out."

Mr Whitford will be aiming to get to the top in about half an hour.

"I wouldn't say it gets easier each time," he said. "As long as I make it up there in one piece I'm happy.

"It's very hot. It's like climbing in a hot oven. You've got heavy gear on, your sweating, so once you hit the top it's a big relief."

Video will play in
Play now
Don't auto play

Never auto play
Sky tower stair challenge Aaron Whitford from the Whanganui fire brigade is doing the sky tower challenge solo this weekend

This year will be his third time in a row at the event and fourth overall.

"It's good networking," he said. "You meet other guys from other parts of the country and overseas as well."

Tash and Murray Richmond and Jacklyn Robertson will be representing the Hunterville Volunteer Fire Brigade at this weekend's event.


Organisers set an overall goal of $900,000 but so far more than $1.1million has been donated.

For more information and to donate, visit