Simon rises to the challenge

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A mountaineer has raised almost £1,000 for a local mountain rescue charity after scaling the highest mountain in the Alps.

Engineer Simon Tindley (37) met up with a work colleague at the end of August to climb the 4,810 metre-high Mont Blanc.

The experience proved arduous from the beginning with the duo having to change their intended route due to the possibility of avalanches.

The married father of two form Bearsden, said: “It was quite tough. I met up with a work colleague in Chamonix and we took a cable car up and stayed in a mountain hut to acclimatise.

“The altitude is something you cannot train for. Our alarm went off at 2.30am and we reached to summit about 7am for sunrise. It is a stunning part of the world.

“At the summit it was about -15C and I had five layers of clothing on, including a down jacket, ski goggles and thick gloves. It wasn’t too busy at that time in the morning with about 12 other people there.”

Simon said the original plan had been to climb the mountain by a way known as the Gouter Route, but a week beforehand a number of Irish climbers had been killed when the path they were on gave way.

Simon said: “After this we were quite anxious and decided to hire a guide and summit via a route known as the Trois Mount Route (three mountains route). It’s a longer route but much safer.”

Simon has so far raised just over £900 for his chosen charity - The Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, based in Drymen. The group is one of the busiest in the country covering Loch Lomond National Park, large parts of The Trossachs and the lower reaches of The West Highland Way.

Simon added: “I decided to raise the money for this team because I felt they deserve some recognition for all the work they do.

“Every one on the team is a volunteer giving up their time to make the hills safer for outdoor enthusiasts like me.”

Much of Simon’s fitness training was done by climbing Ben Lomond and areas in The Cairngorms. His enthusiasm for the hills has even rubbed off on his five-year-old son, Marcus.

He added: “I started hill walking when I was 14 in the Boys’ Brigade, and when I was 18 I did a 200km walk over two weeks in the Alps.

“I came back to it about four year’s ago and now my son Marcus is into hillwalking. So far he has done seven of them. His first Munro was Ben Lomond when he was only four years old.”

To make a donation to The Lomond Rescue team go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/montblancchallenge