An inspirational Yorkshireman is climbing Mount Everest 70 times before his 70th birthday, helping to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dogs Trust.
York resident George Young is proving age is just a number as he aims to complete the feat before his birthday on 14 February 2021.
Using a Versaclimber, a vertical climbing machine favoured by athletes including Sir Andy Murray, George has to climb a whopping 385 miles before Valentine’s Day!
Each Everest climb takes George around four hours and he is aiming to climb an average of just under six a month to achieve his goal.
George, a joiner at Portakabin in York, will be raising much-needed funds for his two favourite charities, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dogs Trust.
“The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is such an important service to the public, its team helped me when I had a cycling accident in the Dales and I have supported them ever since.
“I love dogs, me and my wife Michelle have a Bedlington Terrier called Ruby that we take everywhere. The Dog’s Trust is so worthy as it gives unloved dogs a chance to find a loving home.
“Both charities are close to my heart and I’ve been encouraging anyone who wishes to sponsor my challenge to donate to one or both of them.
“As well as raising money for charity, I wanted a real challenge, something to give hope not only to me but also to friends my own age.
“Like everyone, I have experienced my own struggles with 2020 and the lack of motivation I had at the start of lockdown was really affecting my mood.
“Since starting this challenge I am much happier and more alert, I love working out at home and don’t miss the gym at all (which is a big statement coming from me) and I feel younger every day.”
Neil Kelford, managing director at Versaclimber, thinks that George can provide inspiration to others his own age, in showing that you are never too old to fulfil your goals, he said:
“There is a lot of attention on the elderly community at the moment, assumptions that they are all vulnerable and should stay at home as much as possible, and this can really have a negative impact on their sense of self-worth and esteem.
“The truth is that older people can be just as fit, if not fitter than those who are younger than them.
“We are seeing a lot of kindness this year, and applaud George’s fundraising efforts with two great charities; Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dog’s Trust.”
After completing his challenge, George has plans on putting his feet up, but just for a little while, George said:
“I will be so excited, proud and overwhelmed when I reach that last step. It has been tough but I am happy to be able to show people that you can aim for great things at a later age.
“My beautiful wife Michelle is so supportive and so I’ll take her and Ruby to our holiday lodge in the Dales where we will go for a nice meal and do some walking and cycling.
“After that, there will be another Versaclimber challenge, watch this space, maybe I’ll climb to the moon or the other side of the world – the possibilities are endless.