Four Andean peaks in 22 days for charity

jpco 28-1-15 Luke Wyndham will be raising funds on behalf of the Crawley based charity, Vision Aid Overseas. He will climb no fewer than four mountain peaks spanning a magnificent 22 days and reaching heady heights of over 6,400 metres (21,000 feet). (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150126-124557001
jpco 28-1-15 Luke Wyndham will be raising funds on behalf of the Crawley based charity, Vision Aid Overseas. He will climb no fewer than four mountain peaks spanning a magnificent 22 days and reaching heady heights of over 6,400 metres (21,000 feet). (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150126-124557001

A man aims to raise £3,000 for Crawley charity Vision Aid Overseas by taking on an epic climbing challenge.

Luke Wyndham, 41, is training to climb 50 degree inclines on ice and reach summits higher than 6,400m on Bolivia’s Four Peaks Challenge in July.

The charity is based in Manor Royal and works to make eye care accessible in developing countries.

Luke, who has worked in the optical industry for 18 years, said: “I just wanted to give something back.

“To regain some kind of sight can make a massive difference to the livelihood of that person and their families.

“It’s just nice to be able to do something for people who aren’t in the same position we are in the UK.”

He is training four to six times a week ahead of the 22-day expedition. He is an area sales manager for optical manufacturers Topcon and practices at K2 leisure centre’s climbing wall.

The experienced climber said: “If I’m in the area I train.

“K2 is a nice facility with a nice open space.

“There’s nothing worse than sitting in a hotel room doing nothing.”

He will do a training climb in the Cairngorms, Scotland, before leaving for South America.

Luke is to reach the 6,462m high fourth summit of Illimani on July 30.

Luke, who climbed an Atlas mountain in Morocco in 2013, said the Andean trek would be “by leaps and bounds” his hardest climbing challenge.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to take it to the next level.

“It will be harder because of the strain on the body because of the lack of oxygen.

“It’s steeper than stairs with ice axes.”

Luke will get used to the lack of oxygen as he and his team climb the progressively higher snowy peaks.

He added: “What it enables you to do is a varied range of peaks and some of the lower summits are actually more technical than the final assent.”

The experience climber said he got “the bug” during the Moroccan trip.

He applied for the Four Peaks Challenge to avoid weeks acclimatising in a high altitude base camp.

He is “optimistic” about achieving his fundraising target.

Luke will spread the word to his clients across London and the South with support from Vision Aid Overseas.

Luke who has ten years’ climbing experience said he enjoyed the shared experience and added:“It’s not about myself overcoming the mountain - it’s overcoming my own boundaries and mental challenges.”

To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com/TopconGB-GivingBack