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Aldbourne climber (61) is days away from top of the world

A 61-year-old Aldbourne man, who aims to become the first over-60 to climb the North Ridge of Mount Everest and only the second to reach the summit, is waiting for a 'summit window' to make his final ascent.

As well as entering the record books, company director Simon Knighton also hopes to raise £100,000 for the charity Age UK and local good causes during the 69-day challenge.

Simon and his fellow climbers (pictured) arrived at base camp – 5,200m above sea level – at the beginning of April, and have been acclimatising to the altitude before tackling the ascent to the summit – at 8,848m (29,029ft) - within the next few days.

Talking about the about the challenges of his climb before he left the UK, Simon said: “I’m by no means a professional mountaineer, and climbing Mount Everest will be the greatest challenge of my life.

"I’ve been training for the climb for a year and whilst I feel confident I can tackle Everest, I know that luck will have a significant part to play in my success.

He added: “I’m dedicating the expedition to Age UK and local charitable organisations as I feel that we should all have access to health and wellbeing services in later life.

"I’m also hoping my experience will inspire others to set themselves a personal challenge and do something extraordinary for charity.”

People can follow Simon's day-by-day account of life on the North Face, where night time temperatures reach -20c - at www.myeverest.org.uk or via Twitter at @myeverest

To donate to Simon’s Mount Everest climb – which has already raised almost £4,500 - visit www.justgiving.com/simon-knighton 

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