A RETIRED fireman is getting ready to tackle his most gruelling charity challenge yet – by climbing to the base camp of Mount Everest.
Olly Daniels, of Clough Drive, Burton, will be flying out to take on the 5,500-metre trek on Friday, February 8.
The 60-year-old is trying to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after losing his wife, Barbara, to the illness three years ago.
Mr Daniels has paid for the trip out of his own pocket, so all money raised will go straight to the good cause.
He told the Mail: “I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago for charity and said I would never do anything like it again but here I am.
“However, I have decided to trek to Everest base camp to try and raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
“This is something close to my hear after my wife died from the terrible disease in 2009.
“I am looking forward to the new challenge and meeting new people.
“I have been doing quite a lot of gym work to get ready but my walking training outdoors has been curtailed by the recent poor weather.
“The trek will be 5,500-metres and will take around about 12 days.
“I will be eating a vegetarian diet, which I am not used to, and allowed only the odd sip of ale. So when i return I will be really looking forward to a gravy dinner and a pint of Bass.
“I am really forward to completing the challenge and raising as much as I can for charity.
“People have asked me what I think it will be like when I finish. Well I think it will be very spiritual and will put into focus how much of a small part we are on this earth.”
His journey will begin in the picturesque village of Lukla, nestled in the Nepalese Himalayas, to the base camp of Mount Everest.
As well as tackling Everest base camp, Mr Daniels has also trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Wall of China.
“I am paying all expenses myself for this trip so all donations will go directly to the charity to continue their good work in research and caring for sufferers of this illness.”
A race night is being held at 8pm on Friday at Tower Brewery, in Wharf Road, in conjunction with the challenege and to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/OllyDanielsEverestBaseCamp