Fancy climbing Everest?

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Two bold students to brave Everest Base Camp

If you fancy a challenge, it’s always a good idea to throw a needy charity into the grand scheme of things, just to make it all worthwhile. That way it’s easier to raise money and it gives you far more credibility to go off and do some stuff you’ve always fancied doing, but never quite had the courage or wherewithal to carry it off.


With that in mind, two students from University of Manchester have just joined a team of intrepid individuals to hike all the way to Everest Base Camp to raise funds for Action Against Hunger, the global charity that provides safe water and food to help in bringing child hunger to an end. Biology student Rachel Thomson is the Everest Challenge leader and she and Florence Wilks Costalas, studying Biomedical Sciences with Spanish, are planning to do the trip together. They have turned to an organisation called Raise and Give, who help students who want to raise funds for charity, for some invaluable help and advice. On 28 January they organised their first fund-raising event at Cubo, the Brazilian-themed cocktail bar and gig venue in Fallowfield.


Rachel explained, “I’ve always wanted to get involved. The opportunity to raise a lot of money and get people behind you to go on this huge adventure sounded incredible. The charity gets a lot from it too; it’s a cool thing to do.”


Florence added, “We have deadlines for each section of fundraising, which can be difficult with exams and things. Cubo have been really good with fundraising things, but it’s difficult making sure we’ve covered everything.” They are busy preparing for the nine-day trek by doing a lot of gym training and they plan to go to the Peak District for some acclimatisation. But, just a word of warning girls. The highest peak in Derbyshire is Kinder Scout – a mere 636 metres above sea level. Both North and South Base Camps in Nepal are well over 5,000 metres high, so tackling Kinder Scout is probably not enough to combat altitude sickness.


And there’s something else worth knowing. In 2015, about 40,000 people did similar treks to the Base Camps. Consequently the ever-popular Mount Everest is fast disappearing under a mountain of waste and rubbish left by all its tourists. So last year China closed the camp in order to clean up ‘more than eight tonnes of household waste, human faeces and mountaineering trash’. Let’s just hope that they’ve finished the job by September, which is when Rachel and Florence embark on their philanthropic mission. And good luck to both of them for such a newsworthy plan.