Wanaka climbing guide Guy Cotter (left) with Sir Edmund Hillary's son, Peter, of Auckland, this week before climbing to the summit of Mt Aspiring (at rear), more than 60 years after their fathers climbed together in the Himalayas. Photo supplied.
Their fathers climbed together in the Himalayas more than 60
years ago, and this week, history was repeated when Peter
Hillary and Guy Cotter climbed Mt Aspiring together - in the
space of just a few hours.
Mr Hillary was in Wanaka to speak at last night's official
opening of the Brownston St premises for Adventure
Consultants, a guiding company owned by Mr Cotter which
recently relocated from its former McDougall St site.
Mr Cotter's father, Ed Cotter, of Christchurch, was on a 1951
expedition to Mukut Parbat in the Indian Himalayan region
with Mr Hillary's father Sir Edmund Hillary, along with
George Lowe and Earl Riddiford. It was one of the first New
Zealand expeditions to the Himalayas and resulted in Sir
Edmund's selection for the successful 1953 British Everest
Early on Wednesday, the next generation of the two climbing
families left Colin Todd Hut at the base of the northwest
ridge of Mt Aspiring, reaching the summit just four hours
''I'm sure it's not a record but it's a pretty good time for
us. It often takes anywhere from six to 10 hours to climb,''
Mr Cotter said.
Both men have climbed Mt Aspiring numerous times, but never
together, although they did both work on a film project there
about 15 years ago. It had been about 30 years since Mr
Hillary last stood on the summit.
Mr Cotter said the pair had enjoyed a ''wonderful'' ascent
''We had really good conditions and we managed to climb and
talk all the way up to the top and all the way back down.
''It was nice to actually get out on to the mountains rather
than just catch up at a social occasion.''
Mr Hillary agreed the expedition was a ''textbook climb'' and
said it was great to get the opportunity to go climbing with
Mr Cotter, as their fathers had before them.
''Those family connections are just fantastic.''
Peter Hillary also has a special connection with Adventure
Consultants as he reached the summit of Mt Everest in 1990 on
his fourth attempt, on an expedition led by New Zealanders
Rob Hall and Gary Ball, who later became the founders of
Adventure Consultants, and who also reached the top. It was
the first New Zealand-led and organised expedition to succeed
on Mt Everest.