Its climb time!

Greetings from Sunny Singapore!

Today is a special day as my father turns 70 years old. Happy birthday Jack! What a celebration of a life lived fully and happily.  At the age of 70, Jack is still running over 12oo acres of steep hill country sheep and beef farm in Matau, Taranaki, New Zealand.  He is one of the lucky few who has found something in life he truly loves doing.  With four children, 10 grand children, 5000 sheep, 500 cattle, 10 chickens, 6 dogs, a few hundred goats to look after, he celebrated today in the place he knows and loves, on his farm.  What a privilege it has been to have him as a father.

On a much lesser note, today also marks the date of 30 days before I return to the hills. In one month I head to New Zealand to attempt a route in the Southern Alps which I have dreamed about for a long time.  It’s very high, very steep and very icy and as any serious climb has me crapping my pants at the thought of it.  The build up is always hard, and I try to channel my fear in a positive direction and use it as motivation to train and prepare.  When the alarm goes off early in the morning, the thought of being on that huge exposed ridge with hundreds of meters of air underneath my feet, is fantastic motivation to get me out of bed and hit the gym or pound pavements.

It’s also a busy week also for ‘Axe On Everest’ presentations, with a talk to 200+ audience on Tuesday night from the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales) for their annual ‘Celebrating Excellence” dinner, a talk in Phuket on Saturday for a corporate retreat arranged by UFIT and Monday morning will see me sharing my climbing experiences with 90 school children.

Wishing you all a joyous and wonderful weekend ahead,


Jack at home on his farm where he has spent his entire life

Presenting ‘Axe on Everest’ this week to ICAEW. Photo ICAEW/Tommy Lobinhoot Low

Posted on November 29, 2012, in Grand Traverse Aoraki Mt Cook. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Happy b’day to your papa. What are you up to? I’ll be in Sing next week for a few days maybe a drink?
    Cheer Tad


  2. Congratulations Jack!! Hope your day went well for you! Cheers Greg and Yoke Moore


  3. He is a lucky bugger indeed. Living the dream.


  4. Happy birthday Jacko!


  5. What a day it was!!! One to remember forever that’s for sure. Turn up at 11am sharp was the instructions. Ok. smell a rat – for sure?? As we arrive we are asked to draw a number from a hat for a draw for $100.00. Yeah right!!
    All standing around chatting and in flies Tarata Helicopters.
    Keeps getting better.
    “Right says the birthday boy, numbers 1,2,3,4 it’s your turn” Ah!!! “In the helicopter, you are the first to have a scenic trip” and so it went til about 40 of us were transported to the back of his farm to an old bach that he has been slowly(and secretly) doing up with the help of David and two of his old friends.
    White bait fritters freshly cooked on the electric fry pan, fresh buns and salad, cold beverages galore!! Unbelievable.
    Generator, flush toilet, fire, wet back – what an unbelievable setup.
    Well done Jack, all the preparation was absolutely outstanding and well worth the 70 years in the making. You certainly made us all proud today!!


  6. Happy birthday to Jack. I hope Annie, Arrabella, Amy, Arthur, Andy, Beatrice, Barbara, Beaux, Bluebell, Caitlin, Carrie, Carl, Columbus, Daisy, Dolly, Dewbury, Dandy, Dizzy, Dot and the rest of the sheep sang him a happy birthday song. Remember – you can’t eat them once they’ve got names!!!


  7. Kate (Isadora) Smith

    Hi Axe greetings from the UK wishing your dad a very Happy Birthday. All sounds good on your presentation scene. My husband is a member of the ICAEW is senior partner in a seven partner firm.We were lucky to travel the world attending conferences.We made it to Oz and Bali but missed out on NZ ? I do hope you will be publishing your blogs as you climb. Good luck, you can do it Cheers Kate


  8. Hi Grant, Ooops sorry about that bit too much wine! A little late but Best Wishes to your dad Jack, what a life he,s had working with our best friends but I too say once you give them a name you cant eat them!! Ha Ha! I,m a veggie! What an inspiration you are Grant on another climb and really being motivated but it,s what you love to do and we your friends live to follow you and read your blogs,makes me look forward to my days!! My son,s birthday is 28th Nov! Will be thinking of you nearer to xmas. Take care, love & best wishes. Mica.


    • Hi Mica! Thanks for the birthday wishes for my father and happy bday for your son on the 28th! I know you are a veggie, I enjoy vegetarian food very much and eat less and less meat as I get older actually. In singapore you can get alot of vege food, especially Indian and Chinese so its easy to avoid meat if you want too. I hope you are enjoying the winter in the UK, and thanks also for your wishes for our climb in December. Am getting very nervous about this one as its very committing. Will be an adventure whatever happens! Bye for now, Axe


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