Wakefield man ‘determined’ to see sunset over Mount Everest as he embarks on 18,000 ft climb through Himalayas
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Mark Corbett, who admitted he is “not great with heights”, set himself the challenge to raise money for a cancer charity after the impact the disease has had on his family.
The epic challenge will see him fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, next Saturday (October 21), before taking an aircraft to Lukla from where he will begin the 150km journey.
His aim is to head even further than base camp and on to Kala Patthar, with the hope of seeing the sunset over Mount Everest.
The 14-day adventure is all in aid of Leukaemia Care, which provides advice and support to the 10,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year.
Mark is funding the trip himself, so all the money he raises will go directly to the charity. He wants to raise £5,644, or one pound for every metre above sea level he will have climbed.
He said: “I’m not great with heights so flying into Lukla and having to cross eight high suspension bridges over rivers and valleys is going to test me to my limits, but I’m determined I’ll do it.
“It’s nothing compared to the battles that sufferers of blood cancers have to go through, which will no doubt spur me on through any low points. Every single pound helps, and whether donating £1, £10 or £100, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.”
His family has been impacted by leukaemia twice, with the passing of a friend at just 20 years old and the death of his mother-in-law Shirley, who suggested the trip.
The journey from Lukla to base camp is 70km, but due to heights, oxygen levels and terrain, the trekking will need to be split up over several days for Mark’s body to adjust to the reduced oxygen levels. The second day of the trek will see him climb 500m, which is when many turn back once they experience altitude sickness.
Day seven will require further acclimatisation and is when severe altitude sickness is possible. The temperatures will be between -15⁰C and -20⁰C in Gorak Shep, which is the last village before Everest Base Camp.
The lodges’ walls are built from plywood, meaning Mark will need to keep his water bottles inside his sleeping bag to prevent them from freezing.
Everest Base Camp sits at a height of 17,598 feet, but Mark and his team will continue to the summit of Kala Patthar, which is over 18,000 feet high – around half the height of a domestic aeroplane flight.
He has set up a JustGiving page which is accepting donations.
Yvonne Mackintosh, a fundraising officer at the charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Mark has chosen to take on such an incredible challenge in support of Leukaemia Care. It will undoubtedly be an utterly amazing experience for Mark and a real once in a lifetime opportunity.”