Category Archives: Speaking

Speaking Promotional Video

Hi friends!

Over the past 12 months I have been diligently recording several keynote presentations I have made, and edited them into one 4 minute promotional video attached below.  It is designed to give you an idea of what an ‘Axe on Everest’ keynote presentation is all about.

I am focusing more and more on mental strength when I give my talks.  After all, climbing Everest is about 80% mental strength and 20% physical.  A factor so often overlooked in other area’s in life.  We all know how to increase our physical strength – but how do we increase our mental strength and resilience?

Regards for now,


Speaking tonight and release of new book!

Hello friends,

I will be presenting this evening at the Australian International School in Singapore.  This is a public event and admission is free – you can register from the attached link here:

A brief overview of my talk:

A 60 minute presentation that brings you along Grant’s personal journey of transition from a sportsman and high altitude mountaineer to extreme adventurer and professional speaker.  Grant’s talk is designed to inspire audiences to reflect on their own lives.  To encourage them to take on challenge and risk, to show them how to achieve great goals with limited resources and to inspire positive change through following their true passions in life.

“Conquering the Mountain” is specially suitable for teenagers and their parents looking for inspiration and motivation in life to make positive changes, to take on new challenges or be reminded that we need to step outside our comfort zone in order to achieve.

I am very excited to be taking orders tonight for my new book ‘From Peak to Peak’ which will be printed and ready within three weeks.  This is the story of our journey from the summit of Mt Ruapehu to the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook completely by human power in December 2013.  It will also be available to order online shortly and I will post the link once ready.

'From Peak to Peak' - my book about our journey from Ruapehu to Aoraki/ Mt Cook

‘From Peak to Peak’ – my book about our journey from Ruapehu to Aoraki/ Mt Cook

Bye for now!


Passion unleashed

For me, standing on the summit of Mt Everest was the result of following a process.  The process of mountaineering.   I love mountaineering. I am passionate about it.  I love the months of planning for an expedition, the months of sweating and training to prepare my body physically.  The meticulous preparation of my equipment.  Most of all I love the huge mental challenge I have to overcome before each climb to confront my own fear.   All these reasons are why I climb, they are why I climbed Mt Everest and that is why I continue to climb.

Passion is an enormously powerful force.  It gives us the strength to get through hard times and setbacks.  It gives us strength to overcome our fears, to ignore what other people think of us, to be disciplined and make sacrifices in pursuit of our dreams.  Passionate people do not want to take shortcuts – they consider that  ‘learning the process’ is an important part of the journey.

In mountaineering it’s easy to spot those who are not passionate about the process.  They want to stand on top of the mountain but they are not really interested in the process of climbing the mountain.  I feel for these people.  Success without hard work is a hollow, empty feeling.   They never last long in the sport.

Just as in life,  successful mountaineers are the ones who are passionate.  They are not there just to stand on the summit.    Their passion gives them the energy to work the hardest, fight the longest, and in the words of Winston Churchill “never, never. never give-up”.

By following my passion it took me to the top of the world.  Next week I will be talking on the importance of following your passion at the Singapore Management University. See the flyer below for more information. I hope to see you there!


Come to Axe's next talk on 12 March, 2013 - click the image to enlarge!

Come to Axe’s next talk on 12 March, 2013 – click the image to enlarge!

Axe on Everest in support of Indonesian orphanages

During 22 – 23 September 2012,  together with my wife Stephanie we traveled to Rumbai and Duri, Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia.  Here we visited two schools and the  Chevron onshore oilfields.  During the weekend I gave 5 ‘Axe on Everest 2012’ presentations  to various sections of the local community, each highlighting the fulfillment of dreams, having a passion, motivation, setting goals, mental control, time management and planning.  The weekend was arranged by good friend, ex-mountaineer and fellow kiwi, Mr Greg Moore and his lovely wife Yoke and family.

As a result of the weekend, US $2000 was raised in support of three local orphanages.  Stephanie and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity between presentations to visit one of the orphanage’s named Sayang Omak.  It was a very basic structure which housed over 30 children in two separate rooms.  The money raised will definitely be very helpful in improving their facilities.

It was a hectic yet immensely rewarding weekend.  Having grown up in a remote part of the world where  I attended primary school with less than 10 children in the entire school, I have a fondness, an understanding and an instant connection with small communities.  People are so friendly in small communities.   Throughout the weekend we had the honor of meeting many lovely and interesting Indonesian people as well as many others from various parts of the world.

Stephanie and I would like to express our sincere thanks to the sponsors who supported the weekends events (sponsors listed on the flyer below).   Also a huge thank you to the tireless work of Mr Greg Moore and wife Yoke, for their planning, preparation and 1st class hospitality during the weekend.

Attached below are some photo’s from the weekend activities and from our visit to the Sayang Omak Orphanage.  All photos are copyright to Greg Moore.

Sponsors for the weekends events

Presenting to the International School Rumbai

Being presented the International School Rumbai’s donation to the local orphanage as a result of the presentation.

Presenting to the American School, Duri

Being presented the American School, Duri’s contribution to the orphanage.

Presenting to Chevron contractors in the RekindWorleyParsons Office.

The Sayang Omak orphanage. A basic home for over 30 students.

With some of the students (L to R in middle: Robby, Aslina, Mariana) and staff from Sayang Omak orphanage. I presented them with  ‘Axe on Everest’ postcards and a poster.

This little man ‘Bayu’ is the youngest member of the orphanage and has a huge smile.

Preparing to present at the BBar in Duri

With Mrs Rawlinson before I present at the BBar, Duri

A public presentation to 60 people at the ‘BBar’ on Saturday evening

Entering the Sebangga Catholic School

With the students from the Sebangga Catholic School after my presentation which was conducted through an interpreter (Thanks Mr Benny!)

Axe on Everest heads for Indonesia

A huge thank you to Greg Moore, fellow kiwi and ex-mountaineer now based in Duri, Sumatra, Indonesia.  Greg has made a huge effort to arrange a series of Axe on Everest 2012 presentations next weekend in Indonesia.  I am very excited to be heading  there together with Stephanie to meet the friendly folk which are nearly always found in the more remote locations in our world.  The weekend has a jam-packed schedule with 4 presentations (at last count!), school visits, BBQ’s, and all proceeds  going towards some great local groups including an orphanage.  A big thank you to the sponsors involved below as can be seen on the flyer.

Meanwhile in other corners of the world I am eagerly following the progress of the ‘Qinghai Virgin Peaks Expedition 2012’.  The team consists of  two good friends David “Daisy” Lim and “Dr’ Rozani. They will be attempting to climb at least one, never before climbed 6000m peak.  Together with Rozani and David, I had the pleasure of climbing three virgin peaks in the Tien Shan mountain range on the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2009 (see write-up in the American Alpine Club Journal).  It was a truly memorable experience being the first human being to stand on a mountain top and knowing you had climbed it under your own steam, sharing the rope with two close friends without the use of any guides or outside assistance.  The nature of this  independent climbing, with the necessity for complete self-reliance is a style that is immensely appealing to me and I salute both Dave and Roz for thinking outside the box and doing some real exploratory climbing.  Good luck to the team and you can follow their progress here.

Axe on Everest presents at the Singapore Cricket Club Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Axe on Everest goes down under in August

August has been a busy month for Axe!  I recently returned from a very successful speaking tour to New Zealand.  Over 6 days I spoke to 3 schools and conducted 3 public presentation evenings, speaking to over 700 people in total. Through the 6 days, over NZ$ 11,000 was raised for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust(TRHT).  Considerable exposure was also generated for the TRHT through media coverage of my visit – namely radio, newspaper and television. A huge thank you to the presenting sponsor JSL – Jufferman’s Surveyors Limited – for arranging the talks.

I was reminded constantly of the warmth and friendliness of Kiwi people during my trip.  Sometimes we Kiwi’s take this for granted. I had a good reminder on the evening of my final talk which held in a French Restaurant in Auckland.  The manager that night must have had a rough sleep under a bridge the previous night or some bad snails for breakfast, as she was in a foul mood, smelled of garlic, was quite unhelpful and hated jokes about the Rainbow warrior. Never the less – the evening was very successful and a big thank you to Helen and Mark Taucher and James J Bentley for organising the evening.

My trip home was also covered by Close Up.  Close Up is TVNZ’s nightly current affairs show.  Close Up air’s on TV1 at primetime viewing (7:00PM – 7:30PM) throughout the working week.  This was filmed over a very enjoyable and action packed two days. One day was spent with the TRHT and my sister Debra.  Debra was involved in a horrific car accident on 24 February 2012 and the TRHT helped to save her life by flying her to hospital.  The very nice crew from the TRHT flew Debra and I into the St Patrick’s primary school in Inglewood, to meet the students there who had been following my  journey for the last few months and have been ardent supporters.  I conducted a talk to the students along with the TRHT crew and we had a small tour around their beautiful school before re-boarding the helicopter and flying back to New Plymouth.  It was definitely the most scenic and exciting way I have traveled to a speaking engagement.

The second day filming was on the beautiful Paritutu Rock in New Plymouth (See photo’s below).  I spent 5 hours scurrying up and down this rock with camera’s on remote-controlled helicopters following me.  The climbing footage should air on Close Up shortly and I will send the link at the time.  Unfortunately 2 days after the filming on Paritutu, a terrible tragedy unfolded at the same spot as 3 students were swept into rough sea’s whilst rock climbing, only one body has been found so far (click here to learn more). It was sad news to hear as I returned from my trip, but heartening to see the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter heavily involved in rescuing by winch the remaining 10 students who were stuck on the rock.

I also made an attempt at climbing Mt Taranaki.  In poor weather conditions and low visibility we turned back about 200m from the summit.  It was a good reminder to me of how dangerous New Zealand mountains can be in bad weather. The combination of very wet and cold conditions makes it difficult to keep warm.  As compared to somewhere like the Himalaya where it is very cold but dry and is much easier to keep warm.

A huge thank you to also to the team from the  TRHTMichelle, Jayden, Fergus, Sam and Phil, a huge thank you for your support throughout the week.

I am very proud to say that John Foord Axe on Everest 2012 has raised to-date over NZ$26,000 for the TRHT. Thank to you all who have donated or supported by attending the talks.

Below are some photo’s from the trip, and some links to the various media articles from the trip to New Zealand.

I also returned this weekend from a short visit to Phuket, Thailand where I presented Axe on Everest to a staff retreat for Catlin.  The retreat was called a ‘Wellness weekend’ and was arranged by UFIT.  Located  in the stunning resort of Indigo Pearl in Northern Phuket it was definitely the nicest seaside resort I have ever stayed in and the most interesting and enjoyable corporate retreat I have experienced. Fitness boot camps, amazing races with bungy jumping, zorbing, go-karting, bowling and many other activities, beautiful beach side BBQ’s and bonfires, community service and even a beer or two thrown in. If you are looking for a value for money and excellent corporate retreat then I can thoroughly recommend this – please contact UFIT.

More John Foord Axe on Everest talks are coming up over the next two months in Indonesia and Singapore. Watch this space if you want to know where and when.  If you are interested in hosting a talk then do please get in touch with me at

Cheers for now!



(click on links below to view)

August 2012:  Stratford Press – ‘Climber thanks rescue crew for saving sister’

August 2012:  Taranaki Daily News – ‘Everest hero drops in to meet students’

August 2012:  Taranaki Daily News – ‘Axe from the top of the world for funds’

July 2012:  Taranaki Daily News – ‘Busy time for rescue helicopter’

July 2012: Taranaki Daily News – ‘From one road to another’


The Close Up camera crew filmed me climb Paritutu using this remote-controlled helicopter carrying a camera. Over NZ$100,000 worth of equipment zooming around!

The helicopter in action – it has a range of 2km and a flight duration time of 11 minutes.

The cameraman always has the hardest job!

But he finally got there.

My sister Debra Avery meets the flight crew from the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust who flew her to hospital after her accident on 24 February 2012. L to R: Jayden Strickland (Chief Crewman), Debra Avery, Roger Blume (Paramedic), Fergus MacLachlan (Pilot)

The students from the lovely St Patrick’s primary school in Inglewood awaiting our arrival as we land in Taranaki Rescue Helicopter

TRHT pilot Fergus MacLachlan lands us at St Patrick’s primary school in Inglewood, students visible in the background.

Being presented a cheque from St Patrick’s Primary School as a donation to the TRHT. St Patrick’s raised the money through various activities including a sausage sizzle – well done!

With the students from St Josephs primary school in Stratford

Speaking to Catlin group in Phuket at the UFIT Wellness weekend. Photo credit: Cheryl Lin

A view of Paritutu rock in New Plymouth from the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter.

CEO of JSL, Mr Allan Jufferman’s hands over the cheque to TRHT PR and Sponsorship coordinator Mrs Michelle Zender. Awesome effort JSL and TRHT!

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter searches for three lost climbers in heavy sea’s after falling off Parititu Rock, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. Photo credit: Jeremy Beckers

Axe on Everest presentation heads to NZ in August!

Greetings to all folk in various parts of the world who have been following my blog.

In the last week I have presented to 300 school students, a public presentation evening at CITYGOLF in Bangsa, Kuala Lumpur, students from the Humaneity Youth Development Program at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and a radio interview with BFM Malaysia.  As well of course as fitting in my day job!

I am very excited to be heading back to New Zealand in August to my home province of Taranaki.   Three presentation evenings have been arranged in conjunction with presenting sponsor JSL – Juffermans Surveyors Limited.  The presentations will be in Hawera, Stratford and New Plymouth and more information on the dates and locations can be found in the attached flyer.

As usual with my public talks – all proceeds from the events go to the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust.

I hope to see you there. If you can’t make it and want to hear the story then let me know!



Axe on Everest in Kuala Lumpur – 9th July!

Axe on Everest presentation evening will be in KL next Monday evening 9th July at CITYGOLF bar in Bangsa.  Check out the flyer for more details! Looking forward to speaking in Malaysia!


Axe on Everest Presentation Evening – Thursday 28 June 2012, Upstairs Harry’s on Boat Quay

Looking forward to Axe on Everest 2012 presentation evening at upstairs Harry’s Boat Quay this Thursday 28th June from 7PM – See you there!

Grant Axe Rawlinson

I will be holding an ‘Axe on Everest 2012’ public presentation evening at Harry’s bar on boat quay on 28 June 2012.

Admission is free, first come first served. Be there from 7PM.

We will be holding a raffle on the night for some great prizes:

– A one year gold membership from CITYGOLF

–  Free UFIT bootcamp sessions

–  Climb with Axe sessions


I look forward to seeing you there for a great evening and a few drinks!


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Axe on Everest Presentation Evening – Thursday 28 June 2012, Upstairs Harry’s on Boat Quay

I will be holding an ‘Axe on Everest 2012’ public presentation evening at Harry’s bar on boat quay on 28 June 2012.

Admission is free, first come first served. Be there from 7PM.

We will be holding a raffle on the night for some great prizes:

– A one year gold membership from CITYGOLF

–  Free UFIT bootcamp sessions

–  Climb with Axe sessions


I look forward to seeing you there for a great evening and a few drinks!


February 17th presentation evening a success!

Last Thursday evening, we held a presentation evening at the beautiful location of 1-Altitude, on the 62nd floor at 1-Raffles place.  The talk was in  in conjunction with Expat Living, UFIT, Balanced Living, 1-Altitude and the HUMANEITY foundation.  It was a very fitting place to hold a talk on the highest mountain in the world, at the highest alfresco bar in Singapore!

The evening was sold out, with 63 guests, and raised over S$1,500 for charity.  Mark Philpott from the Humaneity foundation started off the evening with a thought-provoking talk on how many days each of us have left in the world to make a positive difference.  His talk raised some interest from volunteers amongst the audience to become involved with HUMANEITY.  Dana Heather and Darren Blakeley(from Balanced Living and UFIT respectively), then spoke on the importance of proper exercise and nutrition in our daily lives.  I finished off with a 45 minute presentation on the history of climbs of Mt Everest and details of my preparation and training to date.  At 7:30 pm all guests moved to the rooftop bar at 282m above sea-level for wine and nibbles in what surely is the best view anywhere in Singapore.

A great evening had by all, with some wonderful feedback from a number of people.  Quite possibly the funniest comment I received was “I did not realise when I walked in that you were the guy giving the presentation – I thought you were a waiter”.  

If anyone in interested in a receiving a similar presentation to their company/school/organisation please contact me at  For a donation to the charities I support, I would be happy to oblige.

Presenting to 63 people at 1-Altitude, The evening raised S$1500 for charity.

February 17th Everest Presentation Evening

Hi all!

See the attached flyer here for information about my Everest 2011 presentation evening. This will be held on February 17th at the spectacular location at 1-Altitude bar, 282m above sea-level – the highest bar in Singapore on the highest building and the highest point in Singapore! Ticket price includes wine and nibbles and free golf simulator vouchers, plus entry to the rooftop bar for sunset cocktails. Over $80 worth of freebies all for $30 and the best thing is, all proceeds from the event go directly to my two charities HUMANEITY and the CAI.

Guest speakers Darren Blakeley from UFIT, Dana Heather from Balanced Living and Mark Philphott from HUMANEITY will also be talking on fitness, nutrition and philanthropic issues. It will be a great night.

Tickets are limited to 50 pax so get in fast by booking yours on the number below.

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