July 19, 2008

College Has High Hopes for Everest School Trip

STUDENTS embarking on an expedition to Everest base camp are asking the local community to back their Pounds 64,000 project.

Sixteen teenagers from Northallerton College will be accompanied by one of their old boys, the high altitude mountaineer Alan Hinkes on their four-week trek in October, 2009.

Some will have the opportunity to climb the 20,000ft Island Peak while others will help to teach English in local schools in the world's fourth poorest country.

First they face the daunting task of raising Pounds 64,000 to fund the costs of training, buying equipment, travel and expedition bills. Several businesses have already pledged support and it is hoped that more will give their backing to the project.

The students will spend the summer holidays devising fund- raising events and activities and the college is keen to hear from any organisation keen to be associated with the initiative.

The 16 include Becca Sadler, 17, of Northallerton. She said: "It's an absolutely amazing opportunity. We're all so thrilled to have been chosen and now we've really got to focus on making sure we're ready for it."

Doug Roberts, 17, of Romanby, added: "It will be such an incredible experience, but we've got a long way to go before we get anywhere near Everest so we're hoping to get a lot of support."

The expedition will be led by Dave Bunting, who led the British Army bid to climb Everest's West Ridge in 2006. It failed because of perilous weather conditions.

The college's joint head of PE, Matt Uffindall, said: "The plan was to have 10 students go on the expedition, with six in reserve.

"But all 16 students impressed us so much during the selection weekend that we want to go all out to raise the money needed to take them all.

"This really is a flagship project for the college and Northallerton as a whole. Now, we're hoping for a positive response from local businesses, organisations and the community, as we set about what will be a mammoth fund-raising challenge."

Mr Uffindall can be contacted via e-mail at [email protected] northallertoncoll.org.uk or from September on 01609 773340.

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