30 Nov 2010

Opinion divided on renaming ridge after Hillary

3:23 pm on 30 November 2010

Opinion is divided on whether to rename the South Ridge of Aoraki- Mt Cook in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary.

The secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board, Wendy Shaw, says 115 submissions lodged so far are evenly split between supporting and opposing the change to Hillary Ridge.

Aoraki Mount Cook Limited tourism manager Denis Callesen, who supports renaming the ridge, says it is appropriate as Sir Edmund was in the first group to climb it in 1948.

But an opponent, New Zealand Alpine Club's chairperson Geoff Gabites, does not think the ridge should be named after only one member of a group and believes Sir Edmund would have been against it.

The New Zealander gained worldwide fame in 1953 as the first person, along with climbing companion Tenzing Norgay to scale Mt Everest, the world's highest peak.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Tuesday. A final decision will be made next year.