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Barclays team members have been running, climbing, and ski-touring across the world, all in support of The Brain Tumour Charity’s Everest in the Alps challenge.

Everest in the Alps

The Everest in the Alps challenge was set up after Rob Ritchie’s son, Toby, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012. The first challenge raised over £3 million for The Brain Tumour Charity, which helped fund The Everest Centre, a groundbreaking research institute. For 2018, Everest in the Alps is even bigger.

This year seven teams took on the challenge, including Team Barclays, made up of Mark Lewellen, Co-Head of Global Debt Capital Markets and Risk Solutions, Thomas Flichy, Head of Capital Products & Advisory and Harry Koppel, Managing Director in SSAR DCM.

Mark, Thomas and Harry have previously run marathons and scaled mountains to raise money for charity in the past however none of them had embarked on an endurance challenge of this nature. The team hoped to raise £50,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity through the Everest in the Alps. In the end, their fundraising total came to £85,000, with matched funding by Barclays. The total raised by the entire event has reached over £700,000.

Training was intense, including practising ski-touring in the Alps, going for weekend and evening runs together and even working out at gyms in financial centres all over the world as they travel for work. The team also organised a kick off fundraising event in Canary Wharf that involved forty Barclays colleagues climbing the height of Everest on vertical climbing machines.

Training for Everest Alps challenge

But none of this compared to the challenge itself. The team landed in the Alps just as the ‘Beast from the East’ weather system moved in, and they faced days of Arctic temperatures and even a blizzard.

The team climbed for over twelve hours every day for four days, spending 45 hours in total on their skis, and setting off before sunrise and battling setbacks and dangers like frostbite. The climb was supported by wounded veterans from the Armed Forces programme Adaptive Grand Slam, who said they’d never experienced such difficult climbing conditions.

The expedition became a massive collaborative effort, with all the different teams coming together to motivate and help each other to reach their goal and complete the challenge of climbing almost 8,900 metres.

All the teams found the challenge extremely tough, but incredibly rewarding as well. And Team Barclays are especially proud to have helped raise such a large amount for The Brain Tumour Charity, and also help raise awareness for important programmes like Adaptive Grand Slam and Barclays’ own AFTER initiative for Armed Services personnel.

You can read more about Everest in the Alps on the challenge's website.

 

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