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29th Jun, 2022

Mountaineer takes on 'toughest challenge of his life' for Stratford charities

Ian Hughes 15th Jan, 2018

ROB McCormick is going up in the world for a very good reason.

The 60-year-old will be undertaking the toughest challenge of his life when he attempts to reach the summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina – the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas.

And he will be undertaking the challenge this weekend in aid of The Shakespeare Hospice and The League of Friends of Stratford Hospital.

Aconcagua, reaching almost 7,000 metres, is located in the Andes mountain range. It is known for high winds, low temperatures and altitude sickness, along with the other risks associated with high altitude mountaineering.

Rob is an experienced mountaineer who has been climbing and hill walking since his student days.

He said: “In climbing terms, this is a serious mountain!

“It’s the highest challenge that I’ve ever taken on, and it’s daunting to say the least.

“I’ve climbed Mount Elbrus, in Russia, which was 5,642 metres, but this is a big step up for me and, although I’ve been training hard, I don’t know how my body is going to react to the altitude.

“It’ll be a combination of experience, good weather and luck that gets me to the top.”

Rob, who will be taking part in the challenge with a team of ten others, will also be climbing with his best friend, John Hughes, who he’s known for 25 years.

Rob added: “It’s great to have someone with you who you can completely trust on a climb like this. There will be times when we can keep each other’s spirits up, mostly by taking the mickey, and that will be important.”

Multiple casualties occur on the mountain every year, mainly due to the large numbers of climbers who make the attempt, and because many climbers under-estimate the risks of the altitude and of cold weather, which is the real challenge on the mountain. Given the weather conditions close to the summit, cold weather injuries are very common, and it is estimated only around three or four in ten summit attempts are achieved.

Rob is treasurer for the League of Friends of Stratford Hospital and his wife, Miranda, is chair of the board of trustees for The Shakespeare Hospice.

The proceeds of Rob’s sponsored climb will be split between the two charities.

Visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/robmccormick to support Rob.

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