Everest on Skis is the Challenge for Charlie!

An outdoor enthusiast from North Yorkshire is planning an alternative ascent of the world’s highest mountain to raise money for CancerCare.

Next February, Charlie Birchall from Ingleton will undertake the epic Everest in the Alps Challenge, a gruelling four-day skiing event which will see her climb the equivalent of 8,848 metres, the same height as the mammoth Himalayan peak.

Charlie decided to do the challenge, which is described as the ultimate winter endurance event, to raise money for charity CancerCare after one of her closest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

Charlie said: “It was a huge shock for us all. She is the same age as me, really physically fit and recently became a mother. It just hit home that this can literally affect anyone at any time without warning.”

Charlie is an experienced outdoor sportswoman who regularly competes in ultra-marathons – races of up to 60km - across the UK, however, she is under no illusion as to how arduous her next challenge will be and has begun an intensive fitness regime accompanied by her partner Matthew and faithful spaniels Arthur and Henry. “It’s totally different to any other sports challenge I’ve ever done. I am combining the cardio and fitness training with a lot of endurance and strength work as I‘ll be carrying a serious amount of kit in the Alps. I am also having to think a lot about my diet too as during the event I’ll be burning up to 10,000 calories each day,” she added.

The challenge takes place in and around the resort of Verbier in the Swiss Alps and each day participants climb between 2–2,500m and spend around 11 hours out on the snow. Much of the challenge takes place at altitudes of up to 3,500m.

Despite the rigours ahead, Charlie has set herself the target of raising £9,000 for CancerCare which provides free therapy and support for people dealing with cancer and has branches in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow.

“I am really excited about the challenge. I am a bit nervous about how extreme it is but I wanted to do something for CancerCare as my friend is using the services at the charity and I thought it would be good way of raising money and awareness of the fantastic work they do in the local community.”

Head of Fundraising at CancerCare Emma Athersmith said: ““Charlie is taking on a awe-inspiring challenge and we are honoured that she has chosen to do this in aid of CancerCare. We can’t wait to watch her progress in training and will be in touch with her throughout her adventure.

“We couldn’t provide the services we do without people like Charlie and this challenge is certainly a unique way of raising awareness and helping to support our clients.”

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlie-birchall1

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