At simply 21, Elise Stables has packed extra into life than most. She’s a volunteer firefighter coaching to be a helicopter pilot and an journey junkie obsessed with utilizing her abilities to help these in want.
To rejoice her twenty second birthday, she’s provide you with the lofty aim to summit three Wānaka mountains in at some point, carrying greater than 15kg of structural firefighter gear – all to lift cash for CatWalk Spinal Twine Harm Analysis Belief
Beginning at 5am on the morning of her birthday, Might 28, Elise will hike up Mt Roy adopted by Mt Isthmus and eventually Mt Iron. In complete, the elevation she climbs will likely be 3214 metres – greater than 10 instances the peak of Auckland’s Sky Tower.
“I like having a problem,” explains Elise, who initially wished to partake within the annual Sky Tower Firefighter Problem.
“I assumed Covid would possibly muck it up, so I awoke within the morning, noticed the mountain out my window and got here up with this concept. Once I labored out the distances, I used to be like, ‘Woah, nicely, I am going to see if I can do it and do it for charity.'”
Whereas Elise is fiercely decided, she anticipates her consolation ranges will likely be sorely pushed. The respiration equipment set she’ll be carrying weighs round 15kg, and with the complete structural firefighters uniform, together with helmet, she’ll should be aware of overheating and dehydrating.
In preparation for the summits, she’s been within the health club each day, following a specialised train programme and hikes the mountains each week.
“I have been coaching with an enormous rock in my backpack,” laughs Elise, who wears her uniform whereas coaching and is all the time completely happy to clarify what she’s doing to the confused or curious hikers she passes.
“It has been actually cool to see how many individuals need to become involved,” says Elise, who can even be joined by buddies for the final hike. “I’ve handed different firefighters from throughout who’ve mentioned they’d love to return alongside. I simply wished to point out individuals how fortunate we’re to have the ability to climb up a mountain.”
Selecting to help CatWalk was a no brainer for Elise, who grew up with horses and noticed how catastrophic spinal accidents might be when a number of of her buddies had dangerous falls whereas driving. CatWalk funds analysis into cures for spinal wire accidents and related paralysis.
“It is a actually outstanding factor in horse racing, so I received to know CatWalk and beloved their work,” tells Elise. “Within the hearth brigade, we additionally take care of so many automobile crashes as first responders, so it was actually related and apparent to me to help them.”
It is not the primary time she’s given it her all for the worthy organisation. In 2019, Elise was accepted into the Mongol Derby – a 1000km race throughout Mongolia driving wild horses. It has been dubbed the hardest and longest horse race on the earth.
She spent a yr coaching full- time for the epic 10-day race and accomplished it aged 19, elevating funds alongside the way in which.
It was this expertise which first impressed her to maneuver to Wānaka and pursue her goals of turning into a helicopter pilot.
“Rising up, I had so many various concepts, however I by no means thought I would be a pilot,” says Elise, who in her youthful years was a aggressive horse present jumper with a aim to go to the Olympics.
“After the Mongol Derby, and all of the locations I noticed and folks I met, I undoubtedly received the bug and wished a job that I may journey the world with.”
Wānaka depends solely on its 4 volunteer firefighter crews for all call-outs within the space, which additionally embody performing as first responders to different medical occasions and accidents. On a busy week, Elise and her colleagues can attend as much as six incidents.
It is an enormous accountability and concerned eight months of coaching and upskilling, however Elise insists it is the most effective choices she’s ever made. She additionally hopes it’ll present related expertise for her to at some point battle fires from the sky as a helicopter pilot.
“I like to be busy, however I could not have imagined it could be so superb. There’s not many women, however they’re so inclusive. I completely like it,” enthuses Elise.
“The dream job can be to fly and battle fires, and what higher option to find out about that than as a volunteer firefighter?”
To help Elise and donate, go to her Givealittle web page.