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Grant Rawlinson

Grant Rawlinson

My name is Grant Rawlinson – but most people call me ‘Axe’. I am a keynote speaker, originally from New Zealand but currently residing in Singapore. I am also an avid mountaineer and adventurer. With 15 years in the corporate world, I love to share my experiences of dealing with challenge and risk, team work and high achieving in extreme environments.

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Success! From Peak To Peak sold 339 pre-orders by Nov. 15, 2014, and will be published by Candid Creations.

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$25 Signed Paperback

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1 x copy of 'From Peak to Peak' - autographed

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$50 Double Bundle

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2 x Paper Back Copies of 'From to Peak' - autographed

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$100 Patron Bundle

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Become a PATRON for 'From Peak to Peak' and get your name listed in the book under the PATRONS section!

Available until 19 October, 2014 only. If you order after this time the book will have gone to print and you will not have your name listed under the PATRONS section but I will still send you 5 copies.

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$150 Adventure Coaching

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A 30 minute SKYPE or phone conversation with me, where I will assist you in planning/discussing ways to kick-start your own adventure. Covering such topics as:
- How to raise sponsorship
- Equipment
- Training
- Marketing
- Book writing and publishing
- Expedition planning and conceptualisiing
- Risk
- How to get the necessary leave from your boss or partner!

Includes one autographed copy of 'From Peak to Peak'.

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$400 Kayaking Microadventure - Singapore

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A half day GUIDED microadventure in the 'Divorce Machine' - the very kayak used in the book 'From Peak to Peak' to paddle 260km down the Whanganui River.

With AXE as your guide, this microadventure is based in Singapore and will take you through a rarely visited mangrove river and around a beautiful Island.

Price includes:
- all equipment
- the option to bring a partner of your choice
- 4 x autographed copies of 'From Peak to Peak'

(A basic level of fitness is required and the ability to swim)

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$400 Climbing Microadventure - Singapore

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A half day GUIDED rockclimbing microadventure on a real rockface in Singapore.

With AXE as your guide, this microadventure will challenge you in a beautiful outdoor setting of Dairy Farm Quarry in Singapore.

Price includes:
- all equipment
- the option to bring a partner of your choice
- 4 x autographed copies of 'From Peak to Peak'

(A basic level of fitness is required)

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$4000 Corporate Keynote Presentation

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One x 60 minute 'Axe on Everest' Inspiring Keynote Presentation.

Includes 40 autographed copies of 'From Peak to Peak'.

An 'Axe on Everest' keynote presentation is customisable and can cover:

- Achievement using limited resources
- Inspiring and Leading change
- Leadership lessons from the most dangerous journeys on earth
- The importance of identifying and following one’s passions
- Effective teamwork
- Challenge and risk
- High achieving in extreme environments.

For more details see here: http://climbforhope.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/grant-axe-rawlinson-inspiring-keynote-speaker-profile.pdf

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From Peak To Peak

The First Human-Powered Journey From Mt Ruapehu to Mt Cook

This is the inspiring true story of mountaineers, Grant 'Axe' Rawlinson and Alan Silva's incredible human powered journey, from the summit of Mt Ruapehu to the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

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I don't believe in taking on any enormous challenge in life unless my heart is 100% in it. I wrote this book because I loved the 'Peak to Peak' journey, and I love sharing the story of just how much we achieved with so little resources. We received much interest in our human powered journey, and I realised in some ways that it had touched and inspired others.

I hope that by reading 'From Peak to Peak', you may also be inspired to step out of your comfort zone, and set-off on your own journey of a life time!


About The Book

On 1 December 2013, two men set out on a unique journey between New Zealand's highest mountains. On a shoe string budget and an equally tight time constraint, they traversed through some of the country's toughest and most rugged terrain, covering over 1400 kilometres with nothing more than a borrowed bicycle, some climbing gear, an inflatable kayak and in incredibly slim chance of success. On day 22, they reached the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook, the highest peak in the country.

'From Peak to Peak' tells the inspiring story of mountaineers, Grant 'Axe' Rawlinson and Alan Silva's incredible human powered journey, from the summit of Mt Ruapehu to the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook. It is testament that it takes just one crazy idea - and a 'can do' attitude - to get started on the adventure of a lifetime.


Advance Praise

"All wannabe adventurers will love this book."

Rob Hamill, Olympian, trans-Atlantic rowing champion and author The Naked Rower

“In an age of adventure which is all too packaged, sponsored, televised, and worse, “guided" by experts, “Peak to Peak" is a rare account of a refreshing attitude towards tackling the oceans and the mountains on their own terms. Rawlinson's adventure, where the eventual outcome was always in doubt until the final moments, is an inspiring read"

- David Lim, Leader of the first Singapore Mr Everest Expedition

" Explorers are a dying breed...I'm told...but, hey, think of two great New Zealand peaks and an ugly stretch of water between them and dare to dream of making one tough overland journey and you have Grant 'Axe's quest...undertaken with a mate...helluva trip...great read!"

- Colin Monteath, Polar and mountain photographer Hedgehog House

"Entertaining and Insightful. From Peak to Peak captures the essence of why adventure is important to the human spirit and proves that great challenges can be achieved on even the most shoestring budget."

- Andrew Lock, OAM, Australian Geographic Society Adventurer of the year and the 1st Commonwealth mountaineer to climb all 14 of the worlds 8000m peaks


Table of Contents

Chapter One: A Dream is Born

Chapter Two: The Team is Born

Chapter Three: Hangovers and Reunions

Chapter Four: Pit of Exploding Fire

Chapter Five: Downhill to Taumaranui

Chapter Six: The Little Boat That Could

Chapter Seven: Cycling With the Wind

Chapter Eight: Paddling a Sleeping Giant

Chapter Nine: The Cyclist's Paradise

Chapter Ten: Confronting my Fears

Chapter Eleven: A Dicey Descent

Chapter Twelve: Jet Fuel


Foreword

In our 'connected' world we are becoming ever more disconnected from 'real world' experiences. Reading this book will make you want to reconnect with the great outdoors, the bountiful always surprising natural world we live in. Not that you need to climb mountains or paddle Cook Straight (or row oceans!), Peak to Peak will open you to the possibility that in pushing your own personal boundary's you will discover someone you perhaps didn't know existed, a person more resilient, confident and purposeful than ever before realised.

Fast paced, engaging and at times hilarious Peak to Peak is an enjoyable page turner. Adventure books are more than epic feats of endurance and endeavour. They're also about the characters and incidents along the way and Peak to Peak has plenty: the fat lady with the skinny husband; the proud Maori woman; the rude Backpackers manager; the 'video a scene', the 'I decided to sulk' and the tempestuous Cook Straight 'living the dream' moments

Amongst all this one comment sticks in my mind: 'It proved to me that adventure was an attitude, more than a body type.' All wannabe adventurers will love this book.

Hunter S Thompson said “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely at life's end in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!"

Grant's life is a bit like that.

Rob Hamill

Olympian, trans-Atlantic rowing champion and author The Naked Rower


Chapter One - A Dream is Born

I am daring you to think bigger,
to act bigger and to be bigger.
I dare you to...lead and inspire others.
I dare you to build character.
I dare you to share.
I am promising you a richer life and more exciting life if you do.
"

William H. Danforth

The digital numerals flickered on my computer screen as I sat in my office, contemplating the balance of my annual leave entitlement. The phone had hardly rung, my work was long caught up, and no new projects had fallen from the managerial skies, demanding my attention. I should have been happy. I had a wife whom I loved, a job I could tolerate, and a body that was fit and healthy, even if it would soon be on the wrong side of forty. My life in Singapore was ambitious and exotic, filled with good friends, and evenbetter food (no mate can beat a Katong Laksa or a Chilli Crab). But the problem I suffered made all that irrelevant.

I was bored, really bored.

I yearned to wake up to a sense of discovery, and fall asleep to memories that would survive a lifetime. Not another office day, that blended into thousands of others spent sitting before a blinking screen of 'important' tasks. Tasks that seemed to consume all my time and attention, only to prove impossible to recall even an hour after completion.

Adventure called, and not the 'line up here and sign here' kind. I wanted something unique that had never been done before. Something big, something enormously challenging, and something that would leave my comfort zone behind, a distant speck on the horizon. Judging from the state of my mortgage, it couldn't cost much, and most importantly, it had to fit into those 18 precious days.

My mind started to whir with possibilities, my greatest passion found in the world's most challenging and beautiful mountain ranges. Over the years I had climbed and trekked all over the globe, from the summit of Mt Everest to the Karakoram mountains in Pakistan, from Russia to Patagonia, Africa to Iran and Tibet to France. Mountaineering had taken me on incredibly rewarding journeys, meeting a range of interesting people and visiting some of the world's most extreme places. As well as mountaineering, my wife Stephanie and I also loved cycling around New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, cherishing our time together on the open road.

I was lucky to have a partner who enjoyed the outdoors. Recently, I had taken the step of purchasing a kayak without telling her, and you can imagine her surprise (if not delight) upon entering our thirtieth floor apartment to find me sitting in an inflatable vessel that spanned the entire width of our lounge room.

Storage space is a serious matter in Singapore. We hung our two bicycles off hooks drilled into the walls, each square inch treated as a precious real estate investment. Our kayak easily rolled up into two small bags that fit inside our storeroom, but this didn't keep our friends from christening it 'The Divorce Machine', in recognition of the many potential marital issues ahead.

In reality we both fell in love with paddling almost immediately. It opened up a whole new world of adventure and allowed us to explore while enjoying a healthy workout. We had soon paddled most of Singapore's coastline and began bundling the rolled up kayak into the car, driving into Peninsular Malaysia on weekends to explore rivers, islands and fishing villages.

But for all the fun we'd had, the cravings I now suffered were too great to be satisfied by a gentle lap through tropical waters, even with a beautiful woman propped between my legs.

I thought back to earlier that year, when I'd been climbing on Aoraki/ Mt Cook, in New Zealand's Southern Alps. There, I had bumped into a group of women who were heading north in an attempt to paddle across the treacherous Cook Strait. Later, I'd also been reading about a chap who climbed the highest mountains in the UK, riding a small, collapsible bicycle between each peak. This 'human-powered' approach excited me, and sowed the seeds for an adventure that seemed wildly improbable, and therefore totally compelling.

I opened up Google Earth (an adventurer's godsend) and zoomed into my native country, New Zealand. As I gazed at its 3D peaks and troughs, my eyes were drawn to the proud, tall point of Mt Ruapehu, the highest mountain on the North Island. From Mt Ruapehu my gaze wandered south until it reached Mt Cook–the highest mountain on the South Island. Between those innocent green, blue and brown pixels lay a challenge that had me humming with excitement: a human powered journey starting at the summit of Mt Ruapehu and finishing on the summit of Mt Cook. Instead of being constraints, the limited time and money suddenlybecame new tests to increase the challenge; an epic experience on a shoe string budget, and all within 18 days of leave.

A bit of online research revealed that no one had ever attempted the journey before, and with the little gem of additional enticement, the dream was born.

Dreams are merely figments of our imagination unless we act and this dream quickly grew into an obsession as I immediately started planning. One of the key considerations was what kind of team I'd need to make the attempt. My good friend David Lim, who's led numerous Everest expeditions, once shared with me a valuable insight he'd gleaned from an old Ghurkha Officer. “The more important and difficult the task, the fewer people required, and the greater their skill." In characteristic form I took his advice to the extreme. I wanted only one man to join me, and he was one of the most talented, and experienced climbers I'd ever met.

My first impression of Alan Silva was of a slim Caucasian scaling a disused granite quarry, alone. Traditionally rock climbers always work in pairs, with one climber belaying
the rope for his or her partner. But this guy utilised an interesting method of self-belaying. He was protected with a rope in the event of a fall, but climbing solo still required nerves of steel.

The great outdoors was a passion for us both, but Alan took this to an entirely new level. All his independent life he'd been out and about at every opportunity, climbing, skiiing, canyoning or “walking to my own beat", as he would put it. From our initial meeting it didn't take long for me to discover that Alan was capable of being extremely focussed, to the point of becoming obsessed, and he would later explain that he had 'Autistic-spectral' condition, formerly known as 'Aspergers'.

An intriguing side effect of this was an ability to remain focussed and in control under exceptionally dangerous situations, which had led him to pursue some truly perilous adventures in the mountains. A self-effacing fellow, it took time for me to fully excavate hisresume of tough climbs, including the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland–one of the most feared mountains in the world, which the Germans call Mordwand, literally meaning “murder(ous) wall" and which Alan had not only climbed, but ascended solo. In addition to this I learned he'd summited Everest twice via the south col route, and climbed the seven highest summits on seven continents.

These achievements were nothing short of astounding, but Alan liked to “fly under the radar", shying away from what was well warranted fanfare and publicity. This was only one of the many ways we differed, but in our differences we forged a complementary and thus highly successful climbing team.

After meeting that day, it hadn't taken long for us to develop a reputation for 'epic' climbing adventures in the New Zealand Southern Alps, tackling peaks such as Mt Cook, Mt Dixon and Malte Brun. A climb with Alan involved huge twenty to thirty hour days, freezing cold bivouacs and emergency snow caves. Often one of us would fall off something, or to my horror, have our ropes cut in the midst of rock falls. Dangerous times, but some of the best climbing experiences of my life.

Alan was the more experienced climber, and I was very happy to play my role as the younger apprentice, especially if this meant coming off the mountain alive. In the climbing world, it is hard to find such compatible partnerships, and I valued Alan as an integral part of my climbing dreams and ambitions.

The new expedition in New Zealand would be dangerous and exhausting, and I knew I'd need someone who would not pull out when the going got tough. It had to be someone I could trust completely, who'd be willing to share the huge level of commitment required to make it a success. Alan had all these values, and his subsequently reply to my invitation was heartening: Yeah count me in – Peak to Peak here we come!

I smiled at the catchy name, and it stuck. 'Peak to Peak 2013' had been born.


About The Author

Grant 'Axe' Rawlinson is best known as an inspiring Speaker, author and adventurer. He has played international 7-aside-rugby at the prestigious Hong Kong 7's tournament, competed in the Touch Rugby World Cup, fought in the boxing ring and run marathons. Challenging himself in extreme environments however is Grant's major passion.

He has walked across Scotland, scaled virgin mountain peaks in Kyrgystan, endured winter climbing expeditions to remote parts of Pakistan and climbed the treacherous North Ridge of Mt Everest. Grant's success on Everest was his second attempt after an earlier unsuccessful expedition where he suffered an acute attack of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (a severe and deadly form of altitude sickness).

In 2013, Grant was part of a two-man team who were the first people to ever complete an entirely human powered traverse from the summit of Mt Ruapehu (the highest peak in the North Island of New Zealand), to the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook (the highest peak in the South Island of New Zealand). This included sea-kayaking across the notoriously dangerous Cook Strait in New Zealand. Grant wrote the book 'From Peak to Peak' about this expedition.

In 2014 Grant repeated the 'Peak to Peak' human powered challenge, this time in Europe. He traveled from the summit of the UK(Ben Nevis in Scotland) to the summit of France (Mt Blanc), through four countries, by bicycle and kayak using as little support as possible and his own human power. Grant has taken part in over 40 expeditions around the world, climbing and adventuring in his preferred of challenging, light-weight, 2-person, non-guided expeditions.

Grant currently resides in Singapore where he lives with his wife Stephanie.

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