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Monday 29 May 2017

Teacher has mountain to climb in cancer fundraiser

Conor Kane

A SCHOOLTEACHER faces the long way to the top as he prepares to scale the highest peak in North America for charity.

Mick Brett is about to brave some of the world's most extreme conditions in a bid to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The Tramore-based teacher is preparing for an audacious attempt on the highest peak in North America -- Denali (Mount McKinley, 6,194m) in Alaska -- which he hopes to conquer in less than 21 days.

A native of Tipperary, he has previously conquered Pequeno Alpamayo (5,450m) and Huyana Potosi (6,088m) in the Bolivian Andes and Island Peak (6,189m) in the Himalayas.

His next challenge takes him just short of the Arctic Circle, where he will encounter glaciers, rugged peaks and temperatures which have been known to plummet to -60C with a wind-chill of as much as -83C.

Mr Brett aims to start his expedition in June.

At Denali, climbers carry all their own equipment for the expedition.

It is split between a sled, which the climber pulls up the mountain, and a backpack.

"I will be taking the west buttress route, starting with the navigation of the crevasses on the Kahiltna glacier, then moving up the mountain by building and stocking camps and, all going well, it should take two to three weeks to complete," he said.

The mission is self-financed, with all the money he raises going to the Irish Cancer Society.

He has secured sponsorship from Waterford company Altitude as well as Torq, which provides coaching and nutrition for endurance athletes. From base camp to summit, Denali has the highest elevation gain of any mountain in the world -- including Everest, whose peak is higher but sits on the Tibetan plateau at 5,000m.

To make a donation to the fundraising expedition, visit the website www.mickbrett.com or the 'Denali Expedition' page at www.mycharity.ie.

Irish Independent

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