20/06/2011 – London-based construction manager Stewart Edge has successfully conquered Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, to raise funds for Starlight, a national charity that grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK.
Mount Everest, which towers 29,035ft above sea level, is 6.5 times as high as Ben Nevis (4,409ft) and the climb is known as one of the toughest feats known to man. Although Stew is an experienced mountaineer, who had already climbed Mont Blanc and South America’s highest mountain, Cerro Aconcagua (22841ft), the task of climbing Mount Everest was a daunting prospect.
“It was the ultimate challenge – it’s extremely hard, harder than I ever could have imagined. There was literally no air to breath up there and every step was an effort, but to finally stand on top of the world was worth it.”
Stew’s employer, Scheldebouw, had given him three months leave for the expedition, which involved seven days of trekking up to base camp, and 50 days climbing on the mountain acclimatising and setting up high camps. The ascent itself took five days and two further days to get back down.
The majority of his expedition was on snow and ice, in temperatures of -40degrees, whilst carrying a third of his own bodyweight in equipment.
“Climbing Everest has been a lifelong ambition,” says Stew. “Ever since I opened an atlas at the age of six I’ve wanted to do this, and I still haven’t come back down to earth having fulfilled that.
“Each year in the UK, around 2,000 children are diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness and, as I got the chance to live my dream, I want to enable poorly children across the country to live theirs. Although I have completed the task of climbing Everest, I also set myself the task of raising £29,035 in sponsorship for Starlight – a pound for every foot I had to climb – and now I am keen to pour my energy in to completing this last step of the challenge for those children that are suffering with serious illnesses.”
For more high-resolution images and interviews, please call Stewart on 07920 018157 or send him an email. Read his blog on www.intrepid-edge.com, become a friend on Facebook (Intrepid-Edge), or to sponsor Stew log on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/stewartedge
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.