Weathering the storm

Stephen Kerr before the weather deteriorated on his fundraising climb
Stephen Kerr before the weather deteriorated on his fundraising climb

A civil engineer had to battle serious storm conditions during his recent quest to raise money for Great Britain’s Paralympic athletes.

Stephen Kerr, from Cumbernauld, raised more than £1000 for his attempt to reach the summit of Western Europe’s highest mountain – Mont Blanc.

Stephen’s employer, EDF Energy in East Kilbride, is an official partner of the British Paralympic Association (BPA), which is a registered charity, and employees will be fundraising for Paralympics GB until the end of September.

As part of his trip, Stephen made it to the top of the highest peak in Italy, Gran Paradiso, but was thwarted a few hundred metres from the top of Mont Blanc by high winds and poor visibility.

Stephen said: “As we climbed we entered a cloud bank and the winds picked up considerably. The conditions continued to deteriorate and in the end our guide decided the summit attempt along a narrow exposed ridge would be too risky.

“We were only a few hundred metres from the top so missing out was difficult to take, especially after months of training but when it comes to high mountains, you are truly at the mercy of the conditions.”

Stephen is an experienced Munro-bagger but this was the first time he had tackled a peak of this scale.

He added: “I raised £1010 for our Paralympians which was substantially more than my original target.

“As the athletes head off to Rio, it is good to know that the money raised will go towards the team preparations.”