A LONG Melford man who scaled the world’s highest mountain – helping to raise £600,000 for charity – has described the experience as “the hardest thing I’ve ever done”.
Simon Coll, from High Street, completed an expedition to Mount Everest in support of the St James’ Place Foundation earlier this year.
The 43-year-old was among a group of 26 people who flew to Nepal to trek more than 120 miles to the peak’s base camp at 17,500ft, before climbing to Kala Patthar at 18,500ft, in aid of the charity which supports people in need as a result of disability or disadvantage.
“It was easily the hardest thing I have ever done,” said Mr Coll, who is no stranger to gruelling challenges having cycled across Cuba in the past.
“The lack of oxygen was debilitating and on some days it was –30 degrees, which meant you woke up in a frozen sleeping bag.”
Mr Coll, who is a financial director, had been aiming to raise £500,000 along with colleagues at St James’ Place, one of the UK’s leading wealth management firms.
But since returning from Everest on April 21 the fundraising total has hit £600,000 and those from the trek are set to tell the story of their expedition at the Royal Geographical Society in London in October.
“We were away for 21 days which is a long time in severe weather conditions, but it was a privilege to go,” said Mr Coll, who has personally raised £22,000 for the cause.
“It was an amazing environment with incredible people and stunning scenery. You could go from brilliant sunshine to heavy snow in the space of a few hours and every day we were burning 25,000 calories.”
Anyone wanting to donate to Mr Coll can visit www.justgiving.com/simoncoll.