Nick Allen is reaching heights that not so long ago seemed impossible.
Five years ago the avid mountaineer could barely walk and was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis.
"When I first got diagnosed I thought, 'man my life is over'," he said.
Taunted by the mountains he used to love, fighting fatigue and depression, Mr Allen contemplated ending his life.
"I had enough of the pain and I was out driving my car and pretty much decided to hit a tree."
It was at that moment he knew he had to make some big changes - through food, fitness, family and faith.
Regaining control of his body, with a specialised programme at Massey University, which includes altitude training, he's about to push himself further than ever in the Himalayas.
The trip isn't without major health risks which Mr Allen knows but the legacy of his great uncle who helped Sir Edmund Hillary conquer Mt Everest has spurred him on.
"He taught Sir Ed how to climb at the very beginning and he was really the inspiration for me getting into mountains."
Now Mr Allen is hoping to raise awareness and money for his charitable trust Mastering Mountains that offers scholarships to help people with MS enjoy outdoor activities.
He'll be blogging throughout his trip and will have a GPS tracker so supporters can follow his progress at MasteringMountains.org
Multiple Sclerosis is a crippling condition that affects 4000 New Zealanders with no known cure or cause.