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Himalayan trek - a springtime charity challenge for Simon Brooks

A 20-day, oxygen-sapping trek in the Himalayas is on the cards for Simon Brooks, Operating Department Practitioner at our Hospital.

 Simon will tackle the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal next March, to raise funds for the Kent-based charity, the Sam West Foundation.

The trek, with a group of fellow adventurers, was due to have taken place in November of this year but like so many fundraising efforts, the pandemic outbreak forced Simon to postpone the event until March 2021.

“A trek in the Himalayas is the perfect challenge for me to raise funds for the Sam West Foundation which was set up to promote awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues among young people, and in addition the Foundation looks to advance the education of young people in music and art.

“The work of the Foundation is something I feel passionately about and that will spur me on to complete this classic, long-distance hiking trail-one of the hardest treks on the Annapurna Circuit,” said Simon.

Once he arrives in Kathmandu, Simon will have two days to acclimatise for the trek and his clinical expertise in anaesthesia means he fully understands how tough the trek will be. The average altitude for the duration of the 20 day trek hits just under 3,000 metres above sea level, rising to a maximum altitude of almost 6,000 metres by the time the trek hits the Thorong La Pass, which is the climax of the circuit.

“At maximum altitude there is only half the oxygen available at sea level and so, every step you take feels like you just ran a marathon; but, it’s a challenge and I’m up for it, and while the pandemic has stalled things until the turn of the year, it does mean I have that extra time to do further training.”

Simon’s target is to raise £3000 for the Sam West Foundation and, so far, he’s raised around £525. Anyone who would like to support Simon in his Himalayan efforts should visit his Just Giving page.

And once Simon’s Himalayan adventure is done and dusted, there will be a short rest before he and 15 colleagues from Benenden Hospital head off to climb the national three peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, all in a 24 hour period in mid-June.

Published on 02 October 2020