Ever wondered what it would be like to climb Mount Everest?
DSU’s very own climbing club got a taste of exactly that when they climbed the equivalent of the world’s highest mountain – and more – at the QEII Leisure Centre to raise money for charity.
Laura Rowe, Treasurer, said: “For the past few years, the climbing club’s held a charity event during RAG week to try and climb as high as we can in a day, and for the last few years we’ve had the target of Everest.
“This year it was a case of raising money for Edale Mountain Rescue, who are the mountain rescue team in the Peak District, and are incredible. We’ve seen them in action, and they have an amazing response time.
“We wanted to support them because they are completely voluntary.
“We climbed as high as we can, and Everest is something that everyone can picture, so it’s a good starting point to raise some money, really.”
This was the fourth effort the club had made at the challenge, and each year they have managed to improve their climb – to the point of exceeding their target by more than half again this year.
Giorgio Girgenti, chair or climbing, said: “We’ve done it since the QEII opened three years ago. The first year they didn’t make it, the second they made Base Camp, last year we made the summit, and this year we climbed the height of Everest plus the height of Mount Blanc, which is about 14,000m, rather than the 8,000-odd that Everest is alone.”
The team had reached their target by lunchtime, and to make it they had to do 670 climbs of the wall, and 1096 to reach Everest and Mount Blanc.
After so much climbing, Giorgio, a third year Biomedical Science student, was understandably tired, but was helped by the club sharing as much of the work as possible, with as many as 27 people tackling the wall.
He said: “I was pretty knackered, but not as bad as I thought I’d be as I had a pretty big lunch break.
“We were lucky that it was right on campus so that people could just come for half an hour and help out, and quite a few people did a kilometre each – so they really helped out!”
Laura, a third year Accounting and Finance student, continued: “Most of the club were coming in and out throughout the day, putting in a couple of climbs and we were adding it on to the score sheet to work out how far we’d actually climbed.”
The club began to support Edale after witnessing firsthand the brilliant work that they do, as Giorgio explained.
“We started supporting them last year because the chair before me had an accident on our Freshers trip, and within five to ten minutes we had about 30 mountain rescuers helping us out with a helicopter and everything, so we are just carrying it on.”
Laura and Giorgio wanted to give special mentions to Tom Goodall (108 climbs, 1404m), Seb Robe (100 climbs, 1300m), Kiran Ghaghda (106 climbs, 1378m) and Jamie Raybould (85 climbs, 1105m), along with all at DSU, the QEII and everyone who donated.
At present, the total raised for Edale Mountain Rescue stands at £350.76, despite the team’s original target of £300. If you would like to donate, visit their Just Giving page here.
Elsewhere, the club are hiking Mount Snowdon in April to raise money for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal, and are looking for students to join them. More information can be found here.