Great Cornard: Fundraiser aims to conquer highest peak

Chris Goodwin on Ama Dablam (Himalayas). Chris is set to climb the North Face of Mount Everest.

Chris Goodwin on Ama Dablam (Himalayas). Chris is set to climb the North Face of Mount Everest. - Credit: Archant

IF Bond Street jeweller Chris Goodwin manages to complete his £25,000 fundraising challenge, he will literally be on top of the world.

Chris Goodwin on Ama Dablam (Himalayas). Chris is set to climb the North Face of Mount Everest.

Chris Goodwin on Ama Dablam (Himalayas). Chris is set to climb the North Face of Mount Everest. - Credit: Archant

The 38-year-old Great Cornard man is set to swap hand-tailored suits for goose-down snow gear and a NASA-grade face mask as he attempts to conquer Mount Everest’s treacherous north face.

Mr Goodwin, whose obsession with mountaineering began when he joined Sudbury Sea Scouts as a child, will journey to the Himalayas next month where he will begin acclimatising for his epic attempt to reach the peak, via the hardest route. Only 100 British people have ever managed to achieve this before him.

He knows a little about what he is letting himself in for having already climbed the 22,349ft Himalayan mountain Ama Dablam in 2011, through which he raised more than £5,000 for equipment for Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This time, he will be raising money for the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

Mr Goodwin, who has prepared for the challenge by training with an ex-Olympic triathlete, said: “The biggest challenge will be summit day because the high camp is at 8,500m. There are only four mountains that are above that height and Everest is the highest in the world.

“We will set off at about 10pm wearing full goose-down suits and high altitude boots, which look like they were made for space. We will climb all night and should get to the summit around 11am, and then we will have to get back down as quickly as possible. There is only a one in three chance of us reaching the summit because we won’t have any control over the weather conditions.”

On the way, he will have to tackle three notorious vertical sections of around 200ft each, which are all above 8,500m.

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He added: “Something that you could do at sea level is going to take hours at that altitude, which makes it all the more challenging.

“But for me, it’s not about getting to the top – that’s only a small part. The biggest thing is the solitude, and that fact that when you get to a certain level, only a tiny percentage of people have ever done it before you.”

The former Cornard Upper School student honed his climbing skills at Ipswich Mountaineering Club which he joined as a 16-year-old.

Mr Goodwin will set off on April 2 before taking around five weeks to acclimatise. The whole trip will take about two months to complete.

To support Mr Goodwin in his attempt, visit virginmoneygiving.com/chrisgoodwin

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