A team of Kiwi adventurers will attempt to summit the unclimbed 6815 metre peak of Anidesha Chuli in Nepal, with the help of a Sport New Zealand Hillary Expeditions grant.
Dunedin's Paul and Shelley Hersey will lead the expedition to Anidesha Chuli, also known as The White Wave. John Price will be the third member of the team.
An attempt to summit The White Wave in 2013 by another Hillary Expedition funded team, led by Rob Frost, was called off after one of the team members fell. That team returned safely and have helped the Herseys plan their own attempt, which will take place in April/May this year. Paul says this advice has been invaluable.
“We're really appreciative of the support from Rob and the other guys. Their efforts last year, while not successful, have provided a lot of vital information that hopefully we can take advantage of,” said Paul.
“If we're successful, this will be the highest unclimbed mountain ascended by a New Zealand-led team for a number of years, and possibly the highest unclimbed mountain ever by a Kiwi woman,” said Shelley.
Shelley and Paul have been Hillary Expeditioners before, when their Backyard and Beyond team completed two significant unclimbed routes in remote parts of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Their White Wave expedition will also be under the Backyard and Beyond team name.
“Similar to our last Backyard and Beyond expedition, we plan to film the trip so that people in New Zealand can see what the experiences are like during such an expedition,” said Paul.
Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says he hopes this expedition will help inspire another generation of great outdoor Kiwi adventurers.
“One of the reasons the Sport NZ Hillary Expeditions exist is because we want these adventures to inspire New Zealanders to get out there. The White Wave story is already intriguing after what was a strong attempt by the 2013 team. They are talented climbers and were unlucky, but it also emphasises that this isn't a simple expedition. Paul and Shelley are now taking on the mountain and we wish them well.
“I hope their story will help inspire New Zealanders to seek their own adventures and experience all the benefits that the outdoors has to offer,” said Miskimmin.
Below: interview with Paul Hersey on what he expects to find and how the team will tackle the White Wave.