Lawyers to ascend Mount Everest – at their local climbing wall

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Climbing mountain

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The height of Mount Everest will be climbed by an intrepid team of lawyers to help a vital local charity and a charity that helps in Nepal.

Lawyers from BL Claims Solicitors and Blake Morgan are bracing themselves for a 24-hour climbing challenge that will see them go up a climbing wall around 1,500 times.

Taking it in turns to scale the 6m climbing wall, they will attempt to ascend the height of Mount Everest – a dizzying 8,848m.

The firm, which has offices in Southampton, Cardiff, London, Oxford, Reading and Portsmouth, are raising money for one of their office's chosen charities, which is the Minstead Training Trust, and Doctors for Nepal, a charity close to the challenge theme.

Staff from the Southampton office will be holding a series of fundraising events over the next two years and have pledged to raise £10,000 for the Minstead Training Trust.

Minstead Training Trust, which is based in the New Forest and helps people with learning difficulties at its 17-acre lodge, is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.

The other charity the firm are supporting as part of the challenge is Doctors for Nepal.

The charity's aim is to improve healthcare in rural Nepal and support impoverished students to qualify as doctors or nurses and practise in their isolated rural communities.

The climbing challenge will take place at the Golden Gecko Climbing Centre, in Romsey, and is being organised by solicitor and climbing instructor Katherine Ettridge.

The 27-year-old, who is a travel claims specialist for BL Claims Solicitors, has scaled glaciers in Switzerland before, but never taken on a climbing challenge quite like this.

Katherine, who lives in Chandlers Ford, explained: “I have been climbing for about seven years and instructing for three or four years.

“Most people will never get the opportunity to climb Mount Everest, so we will be doing the next best thing!

“We are going to get as many people as possible to climb the height of Mount Everest.”

The challenge will begin at 10am on Friday, January 27 next year and the climbers will aim to finish by 10am the following day.

Around 30 people, including lawyers and their friends and family, have signed up so far.

One of the climbers will be clinical negligence lawyer Kym Provan, who will be inspired by her trek to Base Camp at Mount Everest this November as part of her own personal challenge.

Joining Katherine in the January fundraiser will be her husband Jack Ettridge, 28, who is also a climbing instructor.

Katherine, who got into climbing through the Air Cadet Organisation, added: “The plan is to have at least one person in the team climbing throughout the 24 hours.”

"Some of us will be staying up, however there will be a chance to have a nap on the bouldering mats in the early hours of the morning. It will be hard work, but worthwhile."

People have also been volunteering to help with counting the metres climbed, supervising climbers, signing people in and making tea and coffee.

Regarding Minstead Training Trust, Katherine added: “It’s a great charity doing a lot of good work with people who need that support and helping them to live independent lives.”

People can donate to the Minstead Training Trust via their Just Giving page here.

People can donate to Doctors for Nepal by visiting the website by clicking here.

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