CLIMBING the highest mountains from each continent is a tall order for anyone.
But one Hampshire man is aiming to scale each one for his own ‘nine peaks challenge’ to raise funds for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.
Karol Wicinski, who works as a team leader for Cooper Vision in Segensworth, is a third of a way through the challenge and has climbed Elbrus, Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro.
But the 34-year-old from Whiteley still has to conquer Everest, McKinley, Aconcagua, Mount Koscieusko, Puncak Jaya and Vinson.
Karol came up with the idea of the challenge after people said that he should put his experience of running marathons to good use.
He said: “I was always very active, and for years people said that if you are running marathons you should consider doing something for charity.
“When I do something I really want to believe in it. I have military experience and I can really relate to people in the military.”
He is aiming to complete the challenge within ten years, but admits it has been tougher than expected.
Karol is keeping himself in tip-top shape for the challenge and trains for ultra-marathons on a daily basis by running 80km to 100km each week and does several weight sessions at Pure Gym in Bitterne.
That training has stood him in good stead, as when he was climbing Kilimanjaro he struggled to breathe because of the altitude, while on Mont Blanc, he had just a 30cm wide path on the edge of the mountain next to an 800-metre drop.
Karol added: “All mountains are unique, each mountain has its own challenge. Mont Blanc was a technical challenge, as you have to walk on the edge and quite a lot of people die each year, and that creates a mental challenge, especially when you are doing it alone.”
The next mountain he is hoping to conquer is Aconcagua, in Argentina, which is nearly 7,000 metres high.
- To sponsor Karol go to justgiving.com/9PeaksChallenge/ or 9peakschallenge.com.