You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Twenty-three year 10 to 13 pupils will travel with teachers Jane Watson-Taylor and Dan Cullen to the Himalayan peaks next April as part of school expedition programme World Challenge.
The pupils have been tasked with raising about $8500 each and will lead the trip themselves, taking up roles such as financial manager and health and safety manager to ensure a well-organised and safe experience.
It will be the first time a New Zealand school has trekked to Everest base camp as part of the programme, and is one the most difficult expeditions school pupils can do.
"Most trips from here go to Southeast Asia, but those trips are quite easy so we wanted something that would really push the pupils out of their comfort zones. Basically, we’re doing the hardest trip we can do," Mr Cullen said.
The trip garnered huge interest from the pupils from day one and 37 were at the first meeting. Mrs Watson-Taylor said that number had dropped due to the financial pressure.
Nikita Sinclair (14) is one pupil going.
"I feel like Wanaka is in quite a bubble and to get out there would be quite interesting, especially to experience a different culture," she said.
All of the pupils have secured part-time jobs and are organising regular group fundraising over the next few months.
Also on the itinerary are a service project at a Nepalese school, whitewater rafting and sight-seeing.