There is a special piece of home to keep Kelsall teenager Alex Staniforth company as he embarks on his lifetime ambition to become the second youngest Briton to scale Mount Everest.
The 19-year-old has now arrived in Nepal for his mammoth expedition and made sure he had a copy of the Chester Chronicle to keep him entertained during his trek to the summit of Everest summit, the highest mountain in the world at 8,850m (29, 035ft).
It is the teenager’s second attempt at the ambitious feat, after he was forced to cancel last year’s attempt following a huge avalanche that left 16 Nepalese Sherpa guides dead – and this time Alex is more determined than ever to continue his quest and raise money for all the people affected by the disaster.
He said: ‘’It’s unbelievable to be in this position for the second year in a row but I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I’ve had. I’m excited to begin and feel more prepared than ever, yet will be climbing with respect for the mountain and keeping the victims of the Everest 2014 avalanche tragedy very much in my thoughts.’’
The former Tarporley High School student is currently at Everest Base Camp, which he reached on April 17, where he will stay for several weeks to acclimatise further to his surroundings.
‘’I’m taking one day at a time and staying focused on the things that I can control,” he said. “I have the best possible support team around me and I’m glad to be here in such a beautiful part of the world. My limits are about to be pushed more than I’ve ever known but I want to show young people what they’re capable of achieving.”
As well as raising funds for Himalayan Trust UK, Alex is also is supporting the Alex Staniforth Adversity Fund, which helps people in Cheshire with mental health, bullying and disability issues to live a healthy active lifestyle. He is also being sponsored by Active Cheshire and The Westgrove Group, who recently named him as their first Young Ambassador.
Steve Fives, Chairman of The Westgrove Group said: “The whole of the Westgrove community are captivated by Alex’s Everest expedition and his incredible journey.
“He has an unrelenting desire to show anyone suffering from their own personal adversities that you can overcome them and achieve the most monumental goals in life.
As our first ever ‘Young Ambassador’ we’re really proud of him and the difference he is making in many people’s lives. We feel like we’re walking every single step with him.”
Anne Boyd, CEO at Active Cheshire added: “We are so proud of Alex. He’s a local lad, an incredible ambassador and role model who has overcome adversity to live the ultimate active life!
“He has achieved so much at the age of 19 and we wish him every success as he prepares for the Everest summit.”