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February 2017 Issue
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A lifetime of summits

Penny Webster has climbed 24 of New Zealand’s highest mountains. Photo: Supplied
Penny Webster has finished her 37-year mission to bag all of New Zealand’s 3000m peaks

Despite climbing 24 of New Zealand’s 3000m peaks, mountain climber Penny Webster still calls herself an amateur.

She’s ticked off a total of 72,000m, spread over the course of the past 35 years. Webster, now 57, finished her 24th summit last November.

To say Webster is modest is an understatement; she’s one of an estimated dozen Kiwis who’ve done the 3000m peak challenge since the mid-1950s.

Growing up in Christchurch, Webster says her childhood was full of tramping, camping, exploring for gold, and skiing. She joined her high school’s tramping club, and says it was on a trip home from Arthur’s Pass that the climbing seed was planted.

While on the train back to Christchurch, she saw a couple of climbers who were...

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