This, says Pat O’Connell, chief information officer of Rank Group, is his greatest lesson after scaling the four highest peaks in the North Island - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu and Taranaki mountains – a 40 kilometre course that includes snowy terrain. O’Connell, fellow CIO Jonathan Iles of Rank Group subsidiary Carter Holt Harvey and Glenda Mullany of The Tango Group got back over the weekend after scaling the mountains for more than 35 hours. The group, calling themselves “The Three Blind Mice” took on the challenge to raise funds for Kia Timata Ano trust, a Women’s refuge in Rodney, of which Mullany is a trustee. They exceeded their target of raising $20,000 as relatives and friends from the ICT community pitched to help.This is O’Connell’s account of the trek: “We started early Thursday morning with Mt Taranaki, then with the help of our helicopter pilot friend, Ross Townshend, flew across to Ruapehu and carried on up. On descent, and a bit of rest (we were sore!) we headed up Ngauruhoe in the early hours of Friday morning, and finished with a harder than expected climb of Tongariro in the afternoon. One of our biggest concerns was weather, and it looked dicey to start with - gales on Taranaki and very strong winds on Ruapehu - but the second day was picture perfect, much to our relief. We took 35 hours start to finish, and while totally exhausted at the end, we made it safely and with no injuries.” O’Connell is not ruling out undertaking a similar project in the future. “Already the pain is receding, so… maybe!” he tells CIO. As for making it an annual event, he quips, “God forbid!”
The "Three Blind Mice" raised $22,245.92 for the Kia Timata Ano Trust. “What was to be a small challenge grew into the most physically and mentally challenging, yet rewarding 35 hours of my life,” says Mullany.
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