Monday, 23 October 2017

Retired headteacher climbs 23,000ft peak

A MAN from Sonning Common climbed a 22,837ft mountain to raise money for charity.

A MAN from Sonning Common climbed a 22,837ft mountain to raise money for charity.

Peter Lewis, of Peppard Road, raised £1,200 for the Alzheimer’s Society after reaching the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina.

The 58-year-old retired headteacher said he followed the advice he used to give his students at the Bulmershe School in Woodley.

He said: “I often spoke to the students about the importance of facing up to and overcoming challenges in life and making the most of opportunities that came their way. On my retirement, I felt I should follow my own advice.”

Mr Lewis was one of 10 people who travelled to the Mendoza region and spent 16 days trying to reach the summit. Only three members of the group made it to the top along with their guide and the group leader from the expedition provider Adventure Peaks.

Mr Lewis, who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as well as most of the peaks in Britain, said: “A couple of people suffered from the altitude and others decided that they had got as far as they could so they weren’t able to make it to the summit.”

The snowy conditions meant that the climbers had to wear crampons for traction for the final day’s 12-hour climb, beginning at 3am.

Mr Lewis said: “My little bit of experience certainly helped me. The altitude and thin air were a problem but perseverance and determination is what got me there in the end.”

The father-of-two kept in touch with his wife Mary by satellite phone from base camp.

Mr Lewis chose to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society because his father John suffered from age-related dementia before his death in December 2010.

He hopes to climb the west peak of Mount Elbrus in Georgia, the highest peak in Europe at 18,510ft, in the summer. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/pllewis

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