Since leaving Mounts Bay William has achieved a great deal and is currently the Manager at the Raymond Blanc restaurant in bath.
He has just contacted us with details of an amazing expedition that he and a team of colleagues undertook for charity recently.
In September this year he climbed Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe to help raise £25,000 for the Christie NHS Trust in memory of a dear colleague.
The Christie is based in Manchester and is Europes leading cancer care and research unit. 26% of all cancer patients in the UK are referred to the Christie and they also have 550 active clinical trials for pioneering treatment, the work they do filters across all cancer units in the UK.
The team flew out to Chamonix and immediately began an acclimatization and ice axe training session – before returning to their hostel for a good nights rest for the next two days of climbing. With an early start, they began the first day of their ascent at Bellevue (1750m) walking, climbing and scrambling our way over 10 hours to the overnight hostel at Tete Rousse (3187m).
At this altitude the weather can change from clear blue skies to snow and temperatures below freezing in seconds . Their final summit attempt was scheduled for a 3am start but due to poor weather and visibility, they were delayed until 8am – beginning with a gruelling vertical rock climb up the Gouter cliff face.
After 7 hours, due to our delayed start, poor weather forecast for that evening and the fact we were running out of daylight, our professional guide made the call that it would not be safe to carry on, so our summit attempt ended at 4,200m on the Dom du Gouter.
In his letter to us William said:
“Despite the fact that our team of 5 did not make it to the top, we each take pride in having pushed ourselves beyond our physical limit. We set ourselves a huge challenge with 6 months to train for the climb, and only 6 hours of acclimatization beforehand when in reality it takes a year of preparation, with one week of acclimatization in Italy. Brasserie Blanc managed to exceed the £25,000 target for the Christie and I am very proud to be a part of that. Throughout this experience and in my career progression with the company I work for there is one quote that I always think of when faced with a challenging situation:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” – Richard Branson.”
Click on an image below to see a few pictures from the climb.