Explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, has announced today that he is attempting a new record-breaking challenge to raise funds for charity. The ‘Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie’ will be the culmination of a lifetime of exploration and death-defying challenges.
The 72 year old, who is famed for pushing himself to the limits despite ailing health, is aiming to become the first person to have crossed both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on every continent.*
Between August 2016 and May 2017 Sir Ranulph will attempt to climb Mount Carstensz in New Guinea (Australasia)**, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina (South America) and finally Denali, the highest peak in North America and one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains to climb.
This has all been made possible by the generous sponsorship of long-term benefactor Paul Sykes and corporate sponsor TMF Group. Berghaus has also provided the man dubbed “the world’s greatest living explorer” by the Guinness Book of Records with high performance kit to help achieve this objective of epic proportions.
Sir Ranulph has already reached the North and South Poles by crossing the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean (1982), climbed Mount Everest in Asia (2009), Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa (2004) and Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe earlier this week.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the summit of Elbrus, Russia.
On his forthcoming mountain climbs Sir Ranulph will face difficulties climbing due to losing half of each of the fingers and thumb on his left hand after sustaining severe frostbite in 2000. In May, just this year he was forced to turn back from climbing Mount Denali after suffering from chronic back pain.
Despite his highest climb reaching over 22,000 feet, Sir Ranulph will overcome vertigo and Cheyne–Stokes, a condition which debilitates his breathing above 16,000 feet. He will also contend with extreme temperatures, unpredictable weather, crippling altitude sickness, the risk of falls, avalanches and crevasses.
But Sir Ranulph is no stranger to physical challenges and is the holder of several endurance records despite suffering two heart attacks and undergoing a double heart bypass.
His motivation comes from a determination to raise funds for Marie Curie and help the charity provide vital care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families. Sir Ranulph will be dedicating each mountain climb to a Marie Curie patient, volunteer or supporter. During his recent summit of Elbrus, Sir Ranulph carried a letter from Marie Curie volunteer, Mark Hughes, 54 from Southend, Essex, who is living with terminal cancer.
Talking about his reasons for taking up the challenge, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE said:
“I feel compelled to keep setting myself these challenges to raise money for Marie Curie. Since the death of my first wife Ginny who died surrounded by her family, I’ve wanted to raise money to help Marie Curie Nurses care for people living with any terminal illness, and their families.
“After finally summiting Everest after three attempts I said I would leave any other mountains to the proper climbers…but various events changed my mind. Climbing four further mountains in a short space of time is going to be a definite challenge, especially climbing Denali in Alaska which only had an 18% success rate during this year’s season. But, if it raises money for Marie Curie then I would really like to have a go.”
Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of Marie Curie added: “Sir Ranulph has an unfailing commitment to raise money for Marie Curie and he is quite literally going to the ends of the earth and back to do so. His determination and ability to push himself to his limits is truly inspiring. We hope Sir Ranulph will inspire others to take on their own personal challenge in aid of Marie Curie and help us care for more people living with a terminal illness.”
Sir Ranulph will be accompanied by long-term expedition partner, Dr Mike Stroud on his upcoming mountain climbs.
The adventurer’s lifetime of exploration started in 1967 when he scaled the Jostedalsbreen Glacier in Norway. Since then, he has led over 30 expeditions with some of his notable achievements including;
• first person ever, along with expedition partner, Charles Burton, to circumnavigate the world on its polar axis – a three year transglobe expedition travelling
solely by sea and land on a route that has never been repeated,
• first person, with adventurer Dr Mike Stroud, to cross the Antarctic continent on foot, unsupported,
• running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents with Dr Mike Stroud, just four months after Sir Ranulph had a double heart bypass after suffering
from a heart attack,
• first person to cross both ice caps and summit Everest – known then as the ‘explorers grand slam’,
• oldest Briton, at the time, to complete the gruelling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert.
This lifetime of challenges has enabled Sir Ranulph to raise £18m in total for charity and he aims to raise £20m for good causes in his lifetime.
To support Sir Ranulph’s Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie go to www.justgiving.com/Ranulph.
For more information on Marie Curie and Sir Ranulph’s support visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/ranulph.