A ‘FINAL PUSH’ by Alan Kells
As the years roll on, sadly, my old body is finding it more difficult, so I have decided that 2015 will be my ‘swansong’ year for serious mountaineering, at least for the long duration and high altitude treks that I’ve done in the past. (I will continue to do shorter, less severe walks and climbs) Therefore I’m bowing out with a ‘cracker’, preparation for which is well under way!
My new trek will take place from 28th July to 2nd August 2015 and I am the team leader of the 125-mile circumnavigation of a mountain in Switzerland called the ‘Grand Combin’. I planned and selected the route with expert assistance from Silvana, a highly qualified mountain guide from Argentina, who has mentored me on my last two Alpine expeditions; a 4 day trek around the Dents du Midi culminating in climbing Haute Cime; and a 5 day trek in the Trient glacier area culminating in climbing Pointe d’Orny.
My team, joining me on this 6 days trek, will be Alick Finlayson, his son Archie and my good friend Neil Billinge (who accompanied me to Everest in 2005). I am also thrilled to announce the addition of Dr Anthony Warley, Consultant in General and Respiratory Medicine at Salisbury District Hospital. Dr Warley has been key in controlling my asthma for many years and it is through his expertise and treatment that I, among many others, am able to lead such an active lifestyle and can still carry out arduous activities (proving that asthma can be treated)!
The route will take in exceptional views of the most beautiful peaks in the region and we will cross many glaciers and high passes in Switzerland and Italy, culminating in the summit of Mont Avril (3347m). So…the trek will be ‘no walk in the woods.’ However, my team is a determined bunch and we will do the hard bit towards our aim to raise money for our chosen charities; Asthma UK and Salisbury District Hospital Respiratory Fund (part of the Stars Appeal). We kindly encourage everyone to donate generously.
For full info on how to donate (and lots of photos) check out our page.
I am so grateful to those who have donated to date and those who have promised further pledges. Everyone reading this, Asthma is a killer and your donations WILL help our goal to provide funds to our charities for their much needed research to prevent asthma attacks and help those with respiratory conditions.