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Mountaineer ready for final push


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 could be making his final ascent this week.
 
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 North Col camp at 6,100 metres on Monday and were due to make the push to 7,800m on Tuesday.
 
On Saturday, Simon sent a message via Twitter to his friends, family and followers: “We have now firmed on 26th for our summit attempt and will go up to N Col on Monday.”
 
And on Sunday team leader Zac Poulton blogged: “From the North Col we’ll climb to Camp 2 (7,800m) on the 24th, Camp 3 (8,250m) on the 25th, and depart for the summit that evening between 21:00 and 22:30 (16:15 and 17:45 on 25th May UK time). 
 
“The climb should take 8-10 hours so we’re aiming to be on top of the world soon after sunrise on the 26th May (around 03:00 on 26th May UK time).

"A quick descent should see everyone at Camp 2 or lower before nightfall and everyone back to ABC by the evening of the 27th.
 
"We have a great forecast, a fit and healthy team, the strongest Sherpa team on the mountain and the route to ourselves… Blue skies.”
 
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.

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