A THRILL-SEEKING Hampshire journalist is taking on her biggest challenge yet - climbing to the summit of the highest mountain in western Europe for charity.

Angela Barnes, 33, from Winchester, reports for Sky News' weekly technology show Swipe.

Her pieces usually combine information about the latest gadgets while running an Arctic Circle marathon or, most recently, clinging to the crater of one of Iceland's most active and dangerous volcanoes.

Today she was bidding to reach the summit of Mont Blanc in the French Alps after being inspired by a young Hampshire girl who died tragically young.

Angela planned the climb in aid of Sophie's Appeal after meeting the founder of the charity, Lin Barringer, at a fundraising event and was touched by Sophie's story.

Daily Echo:

Lin's daughter Sophie Barringer was a happy healthy five-year-old who had just celebrated her auntie's wedding as her bridesmaid.

Exactly one month later she was diagnosed with Wilm's Disease, a form of kidney cancer, following only a few days of feeling unwell.

Sophie's tumour spread from her kidney, up her main vein and into her liver and heart.

She immediately began an intensive regime of chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumour.

After several weeks of chemotherapy Sophie underwent a major operation during which her heart was stopped so that the surgeon could remove the tumour from her heart, liver and her left kidney.

The operation was a success but, combined with the radiotherapy and continued chemotherapy, Sophie was very poorly.

Sadly Sophie died at home on December 9, 2004.

Mont Blanc in the French Alps is one of the world's deadliest mountains and Angela is taking on the challenge with her Sky News colleague Rosalind Moore.

They will have to pass the dangerous Grand Couloir section of the mountain and walk along a snowy knife-edge for hours with a sheer 17,000 foot drop each side.

However, Angela said they are determined to get to the top, as long as weather and other factors allow it.

"I'm really excited about Mont Blanc," she told the Daily Echo. "I get a lot of satisfaction form challenging myself and meeting goals or accomplishing things that perhaps scare me a little. And this time, we are also doing it for a great cause along the way.

"This year, Sophie would have been 18 so we all want to do as much as we can to help raise as much money as possible for this wonderful charity set up in her name."

You can support Angela and Rosalind's challenge at JustGiving.