AN 80-year-old New Forest heart attack survivor will climb the equivalent of Mount Everest in a bid to raise £100,000 for impoverished Indian communities.
John Hunt, from Hyde, is founder and chief executive of the Lotus Flower Trust, a charity which funds projects to support children, women and people with learning difficulties.
He hopes to scale a height of Everest (29,028ft) on a climbing machine by 24th September – the 100th anniversary of when a British expedition, including famed adventurer George Mallory, successfully reached the North Col on the mountain.
John, who recovered from prostate cancer in 2019 and survived Covid-19 last year, will begin the ascent on 21st August.
He said: “I know it’s a cheat to climb Everest in any way but the proper way, but following the path set by Captain Tom who set for us all such a fine example, I feel the effort to be well worthwhile.
“As India struggles with the second wave of the Covid-19 virus, fundraising for charity has become harder than ever.
“I am determined not to let anything come between us and helping the poor with whom we work and who are in desperate need of our support.”
Jon will be joined for a second element of the fundraising challenge by 400 pupils and staff from Winchester College.
He explained: “On 24th September 1921 climbers from the very first British expedition to Everest reached the North Col on the mountain. Among them were George Mallory and three others, all former pupils of Winchester College.
“On the 24th September 2021 students and staff from Winchester College will replicate the approach journey made by those on the 1921 expedition from Mumbai on the Indian coast to Everest Base Camp, virtually traversing Darjeeling, crossing Sikkim and Tibet by collectively running some 2,500km.”
Money raised from the joint campaign will go towards funding three major projects: building a farm at Basgo Nunnery in Ladakh to help the nuns and destitute girls become self-sufficient; creating artificial glaciers to restore water to four remote Himalayan villages; and building a new school for 1,000 children near Moradabad.
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