Castlebar photographer/videographer, Ger Duffy, won’t allow a fear of heights get in the way of summiting Island Peak on Mount Everest in order to achieve his aim of raising over €20,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and Mayo SPCA.
Ger, who will celebrate his 30th birthday somewhere in the Nepalese Himalayas to Everest Base Camp, says preparations have been going well.
“In September I will go to Nepal, where I will trek to Everest Base Camp and from there I will attempt to summit Island Peak which is 20,305 feet above sea level. The expedition will take around 23 days to complete,” he explains.
“My aim is to raise a euro for every foot climbed so I’m hoping to donate €20,305 between my two chosen charities, Irish Cancer Society and Mayo SPCA”.
The sheer scale of Island Peak won’t be the only obstacle in Ger’s way come September.
“It should be a bit of an adventure though and I’m really looking forward to it. There are a certain amount of nerves but a huge amount of excitement,” he said.
“Believe it or not, I have a fear of heights and a fear of flying…and the expedition involves flying into one of the world’s most dangerous airports in a rickety 14-seater plane!”
Training for such an adventure is a gruelling process but Ger is putting the work in to give him the best chance of summiting in September, with daily strength training and weekly hikes of Croagh Patrick and Mweelrea.
“The best training I can do is an 8-hour trek across mountains in Ireland, come down, and then go and do it again the next day,” he says.
“Ultimately, it’s all about the charities though and hopefully we can hit the target”.
Both charities are causes close to Ger’s heart and he hopes the wider public will support him in this worthy endeavour.
“My mother was diagnosed with cancer last July and thankfully she has had surgery and treatment and been given the all-clear since. But I’ve seen first-hand how a diagnosis can affect someone and how the Irish Cancer Society provides great support,” he said.
“It was my girlfriend Joanne who opened my eyes to the work of the Mayo SPCA and all SPCAs for that matter. There’s a lot of work done behind the scenes and expenses and bills to pay to rehabilitate the pets that end up in our homes”.
Ger is asking for your support ahead of his big adventure this September. All donations would be greatly appreciated at gerduffy.ie/donate