A young mountaineer who escaped an Everest avalanche triggered by the devastating Nepal earthquake co-hosted a walk up Snowdon which raised £15,000 for a charity rebuilding lives in the Himalayan country.
Alex Staniforth, 20, from Kelsall, helped organise last month’s Walk4Nepal for 120 people which coincided with the 12-month anniversary of the disaster which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured more than 21,000.
Alex was climbing Everest when the quake struck causing a huge avalanche which claimed the lives of at least 22 people on the mountain. He has since written a gripping autobiography Icefall about his experiences.
He said: “Having so many people ascending Snowdon was a show of resilience, fun, generosity, team spirit, effort and emotion – exactly how the Nepalese people should be remembered. They are known for having so little and giving so much, and it’s thanks to the huge support from so many walkers, volunteers and sponsors that we were able to raise over £15,000 for PHASE Worldwide.”
Rotherham-based charity PHASE Worldwide is devoted to improving health, education and livelihood opportunities for the extremely remote and disadvantaged populations in the Nepalese Himalaya.
Many communities still need vital support following the quake as hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless in temporary shelters.
The walk started and finished at the Royal Victoria hotel in Llanberis, where the walkers ascended the mountain via the Miners Track and descended the Llanberis track. They were joined by special guests including Alan Hinkes OBE, the first Briton to climb the world’s 14 highest mountains.
Alan said “I’m delighted to be able to contribute to the work PHASE Worldwide are doing out in Nepal and help re-build the lives of those affected by the earthquake.”
Three Nepali Gurkhas were also part of the group, led by professional mountain leaders who volunteered their time to support the mass fund-raiser almost one year since the disaster in Nepal.
Walkers came from all walks of life with many making their first ascent of a mountain.
At 11.56am, one-minute of clapping marked the time that the earthquake hit Nepal – to celebrate ‘the brave and resilient Nepalese people’.
Donations are still welcome: www.virginmoneygiving.com/walk4nepal12months