UC student to climb African mountain for Chch quake appeal

06 May 2011

UC postgraduate student Argène Montgomery-Hönger has joined a band of Kiwis taking on the challenge of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro this August to raise funds for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

UC student to climb African mountain for Chch quake appeal

Argène Montgomery-Hönger

UC postgraduate student Argène Montgomery-Hönger has joined a band of Kiwis taking on the challenge of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro this August to raise funds for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

Argène, a master's student studying psychology, says her place on the fundraising expedition came about when she chanced upon a link on an old friend's Facebook page to the Kilimanjaro NZ Expedition, http://kilimanjaronz.com/. As she already had plans to travel to Kenya this August to visit her good friend, the timing of the trip a week before seemed like a sign.

"I looked at a map and thought Kilimanjaro's just across the border from Nairobi and thought 'why not?'" says Argène, who promptly got in touch with expedition organiser Chris Flack (a Cantab' living in London) and secured herself a place as an expedition member, and the role of Kilimanjaro NZ Fundraising Co-ordinator.

Argène aims to raise at least $5895 (the height of Kilimanjaro in metres) for the appeal. As well as the sponsored tramp up Africa's highest mountain over five days and back down in one, the expedition will also be filmed and crafted into a documentary the team hope to get screened both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

To follow Argène and the team as they give live updates from Kilimanjaro, join the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kilimanjaronz All those embarking on the climb have a personal connection to Christchurch and are committed to making a difference.

Argene's profile statement on the project's official website explains her motivation for taking part in the Kilimanjaro hike.

"After being in a hairdressers on Manchester St in central Christchurch when the 6.3 earthquake hit and witnessing first-hand the destruction, the toll on human life and the sheer scale of the disaster, I was determined to make sure something good came out of this. Climbing Kilimanjaro to me provides an opportunity to acknowledge the courage and strength the people of Christchurch have displayed. Let's have the world take note of the extraordinary people we are."

Christchurch born, bred and educated, Argène is so determined to raise all she can through the fundraiser she has told friends and family that for her approaching 25th birthday they can gift "mountain-climbing equipment or donations to the Red Cross".

She is currently on the hunt for sponsorship and says anyone who gets behind the project is guaranteed acknowledgement on the project's website, Facebook sites and documentary. While the qualified Irish dancing teacher is in good shape she says she is a complete and utter novice when it comes to mountaineering so is "starting from scratch" training wise and in terms of gear.

Those who can help Argène out with donations of climbing gear or want to donate can contact her at: argene58@gmail.com or donate straight to the Red Cross Appeal online and let Argène know so the group can add it to its tally.

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