Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has successfully summited Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica, bringing him one mountain closer to completing his Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie.
The 72 year old, who is famed for pushing himself to the limits despite ailing health, is now over half way in his mission to become the first person to have crossed both polar ice caps and climbed the highest mountains on each continent to raise money for the terminal illness charity.
Despite some soreness, Sir Ranulph was said to be in good spirits as he reached the 16,050 feet (4892 m) peak of Mount Vinson at around 11pm UK time on Tuesday having battled -40C temperatures and severe winds.
Sir Ranulph has already crossed both polar ice caps, and climbed Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Europe.
However, he still needs to successfully summit Aconcagua in South America, Mount Carstensz in Australasia* and finally Denali, the highest peak in North America and one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains to climb – only then will he complete this world first.
Sir Ranulph is using his pursuit of this landmark achievement to raise vital funds for the charity Marie Curie. The money raised will help Marie Curie provide vital care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families in the UK. This has all been made possible by sponsorship from long-time benefactor Paul Sykes and TMF Group.
Having reached the top of Mount Vinson, Sir Ranulph said: “I am delighted to have completed this stage of my challenge. It has been very demanding for me this at this age and not something that I take lightly at all but it is the hope of raising money for Marie Curie and the work that they do that has kept me motivated throughout.”
His motivation comes from a determination to raise funds for Marie Curie. Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of the charity said: “I would like to congratulate Sir Ranulph on his success. He 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.”
Paul Sykes, long-time benefactor of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, said: “Sir Ranulph proves with enormous willpower what can be physically achieved. He is a friend and hero to me and I am proud to support his latest endurance challenge.
“I have sponsored him to raise funds for Marie Cure before which included the Everest, Eiger and Marathon des Sables challenges. The money Sir Ranulph will raise will help Marie Curie reach many more people living with a terminal illness as well as providing vital emotional support for their families.”
Frederik van Tuyll, CEO, TMF Group who are sponsoring the Global Reach Challenge said: “Sir Ranulph Fiennes is the world’s greatest living explorer. He has inspired many for generations with his perseverance and dedication, and has pushed himself to the extreme to complete some of the world’s most gruelling and difficult challenges. He has shown that to succeed in remote areas requires not only tremendous ambition but also detailed local knowledge and expertise – so he surrounds himself with a strong team, all experts in their field. TMF Group understands this too, and is excited to be part of the Global Reach Challenge team.”
Sir Ranulph has raised £18m in total for charity and aims to raise £20m for good causes in his lifetime.