FOUR friends from Newbury will take on the extraordinary challenge of climbing the equivalent height of Everest to raise funds for charity.

Four friends Harry Jack, Dominic Ward, Rob Sugden and Rupert Elwes had planned to take part in the annual Everest in the Alps challenge, climbing the iconic mountain’s height on skis.

They called themselves Team Sáhasa, meaning laughter in Sanskrit.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the event from happening. The team had covered hundreds of kilometres and were undeterred and persevered with their training, hoping to conquer a similar challenge.

With travel restricted, they decided to walk the height of Everest on Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

The team started their journey at the end of 2020, hoping to take part in the ultimate endurance ski touring challenge, Everest in the Alps, uphill skiing the height of Mount Everest, the equivalent of running 12 marathons in just four days.

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The team will start their challenge today (Wednesday, June 9) and will be raising money for Parkinson's UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

So far they have raised over £128,000.

Their goal is to climb the height of Everest, which is 8,848m, on Snowdon, which means that they need to summit the tallest mountain in Wales at least nine times over three days.

Harry said: “Throughout recent lockdowns, training included running two ultra-marathons, one marathon and at least 15 half marathons. All looked promising but Covid had other ideas. Travel restrictions meant Switzerland was off limits. Frustrated but undeterred, we relocated our endurance challenge to wonderful Wales.

Reading Chronicle:

“On 9th June 2021, the four of us will trek to the equivalent summit of Everest (8,848 metres) on Mount Snowdon. Over three days, we will climb Mount Snowdon ten times.

“Each day, as we hike for 12-16 hours, cover the distance of a marathon, climb 3,000 metres and will burn around 10,000 calories. It’s going to be pretty tough.”

Rupert added: “Foolishly I was responsible for initially suggesting the idea of this event.

"For some unknown reason I asked three younger fitter and infinitely more capable friends.

"Since they weren’t keen I ended up with Harry, Rob and Dom.

“Despite numerous obstacles we were desperate to support our chosen charities and have therefore designed an event that was unique and challenging that we believed would allow us to raise much needed funds for two incredible causes.”

The team members have personal connection to the two charities, Parkinson’s UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Dominic said: “This is indeed an epic challenge and most importantly it is for excellent causes.

"The Brain Tumour Charity and Parkinson’s UK are two amazing organisations that have huge impacts in their respective fields.

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“The greater the challenge, the more incentive there is to work harder and hit our fundraising goals and there are few challenges as demanding as this one.

“From a personal perspective, friends of ours lost their seven-year-old son, Alfie, last year after a three-year battle with a brain tumour, so I could not imagine a better cause to support.

Harry said: “Fifteen years ago, my father-in-law David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms, which vary from person to person and change over time, include rigid muscles, shaking, body freezing, swallowing problems, anxiety and dementia.

“Five years ago David had Deep Brain Stimulation, a life-changing brain surgery which prolonged his quality of life in ways we could never have imagined. Parkinson's disease is sadly a one way ticket and it is heart-breaking to watch him suffer.

“Currently there is no cure, so drugs, surgery and therapy only slow down this debilitating disease. Funding research to improve the outcomes of these treatments is essential, but the charity’s main goal to find a cure remains at the forefront of their research ambitions.

“For over three years he had endured over 90 general anaesthetics, 60 sessions of radiation treatment and more than 30 hours of surgery. Sadly, none of this was enough to save him.”

Donate to aid vital research for Parkinson’s UK and The Brain Tumour Charity: