A 58-YEAR-OLD business consultant is set to attempt to climb Mount Everest, five years after taking up mountaineering.
David Bradley said even if he did not reach the 29,029ft summit, the 64-day expedition would see him achieving his dream of climbing on the south face of the peak while attempting to raise £10,000 for Ripon-based charity Dementia Forward.
Mr Bradley, who lives near Thirsk, said he was aware of how every step at altitude on Everest would be a challenge after climbing the 20,237ft Mount McKinley, in Alaska, last year.
He and his wife, Helen, who will join him on the 16-day trek to the 17,500ft base camp, have trained six days a week for nine months, to prepare for the challenge and say they are now the fittest they have ever been.
Gliding enthusiast Mr Bradley, who has received advice from celebrated Northallerton mountaineer Alan Hinkes, said: “I have done everything possible to prepare for it, as when you get to this age you have more time to prepare for these things.
“Age doesn’t seem to be a big barrier and I hope stamina and maturity, and being prepared to plod forever while feeling pretty miserable, will get me to the summit.”
He said ice climbing in Scotland would enable him to tackle the technical Hillary Step, while he would also have to traverse the Khumbu Icefall, where he would face the greatest danger, with falling blocks of ice.
He said: “It is a bit of Russian roulette, but the odds are heavily in your favour if you go through it at night when it is fairly stable."
Mr Bradley, who has two grown-up sons, said: “The main thing is to come back alive with all your digits – the summit is a just a bonus.”
Mrs Bradley, who works at the charity as a dementia support adviser, said while she was concerned about the effects of the altitude, she was looking forward to seeing the Nepalese culture.
She said they had been inspired to raise funds following the death of her father from vascular dementia.
The charity, which has 200 service users, provides support to dementia sufferers and their carers across North Yorkshire through organising social groups and outings.
To donate, visit everyclick.com/bradleys_on_everest