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Eleven firefighters took part in Saturday’s "March March" up the popular walking track, all wearing full kit weighing about 25kg.
The informal event was organised by Frankton volunteer firefighter Jamie Harris, who said the participants were part of his "wider firefighting family" he met two or three times a year at stair-climbing events.
As well as a local firefighter, there were four from Winton, three from Canterbury, and three from Morrinsville, Waikato.
"It’s to remember those who have given, and those who are no longer here who’ve given.
"It’s not about first place, it’s about participation."
He had wanted to run an event in Queenstown after taking part in many stair climbs in New Zealand, Australia and the United States over the past 12 years.
Most of those who took part on Saturday would also compete in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge in Auckland on May 22.
However, he was quick to point out Queenstown Hill was a bigger climb than the Sky Tower.
"That’s 328 metres and this is 398m, so the burn’s real.
"I’m lucky I’m incapacitated and can’t do it, but it is my training ground when I’m preparing for the Sky Tower."