Highs and lows of a charity climb

Anthony Garbutt who climbed Roseberry Topping 28 times for charity
Anthony Garbutt who climbed Roseberry Topping 28 times for charity
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A Thirsk man has climbed the height of Everest without leaving Yorkshire. Catherine Scott finds out why.

Anthony Garbutt is no stranger to challenges, but even he wasn’t quite prepared for what his latest charity event had in store.

He decided to run up Roseberry Topping not just once but 28 times – the height of Everest.

“I completed it Saturday, started at 4am and finished at 10.40pm, 18 and a half hours,” says Anthony.

“ It was awful, the last three runs were literally my family dragging me up while I was being sick. It was such a hot day but the support was unbelievable and the people I met there who were pushing me on or sticking donations in my pockets really helped. I couldn’t have done it otherwise.”

Anthony, manager of Belvoir Lettings in Thirk, was raising money for NCCA UK the charity which is helping South Otteringtom youngster Gabrielle Alderson.

Gaby, 11, has stage four Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, and may need to pay for treatment abroad.

One of Anthony’s staff members at has a son at the same school as Gaby in South Otterington and when Anthony heard about her battle with cancer he decided he wanted to help.

“When my friend Jamie Morgan from Guisborough was hit by cancer a few years ago and was having treatment in America, I started getting involved in an annual fund-raising event,” explains Anthony.

“Sadly Jamie died after contracting pneumonia after a trip home in 2009 aged 29. Jamie’s family heard about what I was doing and they have donated the remaining £300 from the Help Jamie appeal to the appeal for Gaby.

“That was one of the most generous acts considering, they have never met Gaby, they don’t know her family, but as Jamie’s dad Steve says, ‘We were so touched that so many people helped our Jamie, it was only right to pass it forward’.”

Last year Anthony completed a solo bike ride from Darlington to Paris and back, over 12 days, but this year he was looking for a challenge which wouldn’t keep him away from home for such a long time.

He got the idea for his Yorkshire Everest Challenge after seeing a similar effort publicised on Twitter, which involved a group climbing Roseberry Topping to the equivalent of Kilimanjaro – and he wanted to do one better.

Roseberry Topping at Great Ayton in North Yorkshire stands at a modest 1,050 feet compared to Everest at 29,029 feet, which meant Anthony had to climb up and down 28 times to match Everest.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time. I am pretty fit and thought doing it in July I should have some decent weather, but I wasn’t really prepared for the heat and if it hadn’t been for my family and friends I’m not sure I would have made it.

“By the end I was really struggling, but people were still giving me donations when they realised what I was doing it for.”

He was supported by social media with people meeting him sending tweets.

One man tweeted: “We have just climbed Roseberry Topping in this heat and it was horrendous, met this lad and he is on his 16th climb of the day he is climbing it 28 times in a row which is the equivalent of Mount Everest for a local charity.

He started at 4am and will finish at 10pm what an absolute legend for a good cause.”

During the 18 hours Anthony walked 42 miles and climbed 29,400ft.

He lost 13lbs weight doing it. The shortest ascent was 9mins 40 secs, and the longest was around one hour.

The total raised so far including offline donations is £1,105 but Anthony is leaving his Just Giving page open for another week in the hope of raising more for Gaby.

And he has also been entered into the Mountain Warehouse Charity Challenge.

“One of the people I met while I was climbing Roseberry Topping entered my challenge fo the Warehouse Charity Challenge. I’d never heard of it before but if enough people vote, we could get an extra £5,000 for Gaby’s cause,” he says.

To vote visit www.mountainwarehouse.com/charity/entries/yorkshire-everest-challenge