Thursday, 17 February 2011

Mammoth Record Climbing Attempt


The wall the fund-raisers will be climbing

By Ben Aulakh

A couple of friends will be attempting to scale new heights for charity fundraising and breaking records in London on March 11.

Tom Lancaster and Johnny Briggs will be attempting to make 1, 106 ascents of an eight metre climbing wall at the British Leisure show in Windsor.

The 20 cumulative hours of climbing should equal 8, 848 metres, the height of Mount Everest as measured from sea level.

The two men are hoping that the mammoth ascent will raise more than £30, 000 for a number of British charities, as well as raising awareness of three Burmese prisoners of conscience.

Whoever completes the climb first will also set a new Guinness World Record for being the first person to climb the height of Mount Everest from sea level on an artificial wall.

Tom Lancaster said, “Imagine climbing 3,000 flights of stairs, and then imagine the stairs are vertical and you have to do it using your arms.

“The competition between us is great, I’m stronger than Jonny but he’s fitter so it’s anyone’s race.
Tom and Jonny are hoping to raise £30,000 for Amnesty International, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, and Heart UK.

The climb, and the record, will be dedicated to the memory of Rupert Rosedale, who taught Tom to climb while he was at Marlbrorough College.

He was tragically killed in an avalanche on Scotland’s Ben Nevis on December 30, 2009. 
Tom added, “He was an amazing man who will be sorely missed by thousands.

“Not only did he teach me to climb and enjoy the outdoors, he was the man I looked up to and respected the most while I was at school.”

Tom and Jonny are also hoping to publicise the plight of Khun Bedu, Khun Kawrio and Khun Dee De from Burma, who were each sentenced to up to 37 years in prison for peaceful protest.

The three are members of a youth activist group, the Kayan New Generation Youth (KNGY), which campaigned against a new Burmese constitution.

They were subsequently arrested, tortured and sentenced by the military without trial, judge or defence, and are all now held in prisons far from their homes.

With an estimated attendance figure of 20,000 for The British Leisure Show they are hoping that lots of people will go along to cheer them on.

The two are hoping that the support of the public will make an immense difference to help them keep on climbing.

Jonny Briggs said, “If we can pull this off it will be amazing and we hope the sense of achievement will be massive and we will have contributed to three charities that are important to us.”

You can track the guy’s progress at www.facebook.com/thelongestclimb, and on a website dedicated to the record attempt, www.thelongestclimb.net. 


Photograph from www.thelongestclimb.net

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