Two friends climb height of Everest in charity record attempt

Two friends will attempt to climb the height of Mount Everest for charity on Friday 11th March,
by making a record-breaking 1,106 ascents of an eight metre climbing wall at The British Leisure Show in Windsor.

‘The Longest Climb’ will take Tom Lancaster and Jonny Briggs an estimated 20 hours of climbing to reach a cumulative height of 8,848m, the height of Mount Everest as measured from sea level. Whoever completes the challenge first will set a new Guinness World Record™.

Tom and Jonny are hoping to raise £30,000 for three worthy causes: Amnesty International, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, and Heart UK.

Tom Lancaster said:

“Imagine climbing 3,000 flights of stairs, and then imagine the stairs are vertical and you have to do it using your arms.

“The competition between us is great.  I’m stronger than Jonny but he’s fitter so it’s anyone’s race. We are not rich or famous, but we are lucky enough to be healthy and if we can use this to make a difference, then that’s great!”

The climb, and the record, will be dedicated to the memory of Rupert Rosedale, who taught Tom to climb while he was at Marlbrorough College, and who was tragically killed in an avalanche on Scotland’s Ben Nevis on December 30, 2009.  

Tom added:

“He was an amazing man, who will be sorely missed by thousands. Not only did he teach me to climb and enjoy the outdoors, he was the man I looked up to and respected the most while I was at school.”

Tom and Jonny hope that their efforts will raise awareness of Khun Bedu, Khun Kawrio and Khun Dee De from Burma, who were each sentenced to up to 37 years in prison for peaceful protest. They are leading members of an activist youth group, the Kayan New Generation Youth (KNGY), which campaigned against a new Burmese constitution by releasing balloons, launching paper boats and spray-painting walls with their peaceful political messages. They were subsequently arrested, tortured and sentenced by the military, without trial, judge or defence, and are all now held in prisons far from their homes. Amnesty International is campaigning for their release.

As Tom and Jonny enter the final stages of preparation the training is intense, a rigorous schedule of cycling, rowing and strength training combined with hour upon hour on the climbing wall. They know this is going to be tough, a test of resource and willpower as much as physical strength and prowess, but they are determined to give it their all.

With an estimated attendance figure of 20,000 for The British Leisure Show they are hoping that lots of people will go along to cheer them on. “The support of the public will make an immense difference to us, and will really help us to keep on climbing” said Tom.

Jonny Briggs said:

“If we can pull this off it will be amazing. By raising the money we hope for it will be a double win for us, the sense of achievement will be massive and we will have contributed to three charities that are important to us.”

Notes to editors
For details about The Longest Climb and information on how to support Jonny and Tom by sponsoring them or simply donating please visit www.thelongestclimb.net, and follow them on twitter @thelongestclimb, and at www.facebook.com/thelongestclimb

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