DAREDEVIL students are reaching new heights in their quest to raise the money needed to fund a dream expedition to the world’s highest mountain.

Sixteen teenagers from Northallerton College, in North Yorkshire, are in training for their attempt to reach the base camp of Mount Everest later this year.

They must raise about £45,000 to finance their Himalayan adventure – and they edged closer to reaching that target by giving themselves a mountain to climb in the middle of Northallerton High Street.

The group erected a climbing wall close to the town hall, with the aim of ascending a distance equivalent to the trek from Everest’s base camp to its 8,848-metre summit.

They had to climb to the top of the wall 600 times in just over four hours to achieve their ambitious goal.

And they were supported by members of the public who made donations to have a go themselves, as well as the revered mountaineer Alan Hinkes.

The Northallerton College old boy, who was the first British climber to conquer all 14 of the world’s mountains with elevations above 8,000 metres, is a strong supporter of the project and will accompany the group on its expedition in October.

Mr Hinkes recently gave a talk at the Hambleton Forum to help boost the group’s coffers, while the Mayor of Northallerton Tony Hall also held a dinner to raise funds, pushing the total collected so far to about £30,000.

The group is continuing its preparation for the big event, with the youngsters having already been through a training camp in Wales and now gearing up to walk the Dales Way.

Emma Tomkinson, 15, of Northallerton, said: "Just training for the trip and raising the funds has been an incredible experience, and we had great support from people in the town when we put the climbing wall up in the High Street."

The College’s joint head of PE, Matt Uffindall, said: "The students have shown tremendous commitment and enthusiasm for raising the funds needed.

"They put a lot of effort into the climbing wall challenge and people responded very positively to it."

Anyone who would like to sponsor the students or make a donation can call Mr Uffindall at the college on 01609-773340 or e-mail muffindall@northallertoncoll.org.uk