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'Novice' walker aiming to take on Everest in charity challenge

Waterloo couple preparing for 120km Himalayan trek

Paul Farrell and Victoria Reilly, who are taking on an Everest charity challenge

A woman has convinced her partner to walk part the way up Everest to raise money for a local hospice.

Victoria Reilly, 33, is a keen walker but boyfriend Paul Farrell, 46, is a little less enthusiastic although he does enjoy mountain views and taking photographs.

The Waterloo couple are heading to Everest base camp in memory of Victoria’s mum Dee Reilly who died from cancer in November 2013 aged 58.

Victoria said: “We decided to climb Everest this year for Kirkwood since it is their 30 year anniversary and the timing coincides with the anniversary of when my mum lost her short battle with bowel cancer.

“We really want to give something back to show our gratitude for the amazing support they provided in her final days.”

She described her mum, a nurse at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, as a “lively, bubbly woman with a heart of gold.

Dee Reilly, whose daughter Victoria is walking to Everest base camp in her memory

“Because of her big personality we wanted to do something big to raise money for Kirkwood in her memory and Everest base camp is a pretty big challenge.”

The 12-day trek in November will take them on a 120km journey through the Himalayan mountain range to the base camp at 5,357m. They will then attempt to summit Kala Patthar (5,545m).

The couple are hoping to raise between £7,500 and £10,000 for Kirkwood Hospice.

It is clear that the Everest walk will be a challenge for both of them but perhaps more so for Paul as he’s fairly new to hill walking.

Victoria said: “I love walking and do a lot of it because I have a Japanese akita and she loves walkies too; my partner on the other hand has only just started getting into it.

“He loves taking pictures so even if he doesn’t enjoy the trek I’m sure he’ll enjoy the view.

“We are currently in training for it and aiming to walk a minimum of 50 miles a week, with the majority of the walking over the weekends.

“We plan harder routes, like mountains on Saturdays and more gentle, but lengthy walks on Sunday.

Victoria Reilly and partner Paul Farrell

“So far we have completed Snowdon, Old Man of Coniston and the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. We aim to complete the national three peaks challenge now the days are lighter for longer.”

She added: “Koko (the dog) joins us on these walks too.

“Three years ago I managed to successfully climb Kilimanjaro for a children’s charity and didn’t suffer from altitude sickness so fingers crossed it won’t be too bad when we climb Everest base camp.”

Although Paul is a novice hillwalker he is fit and gets plenty of exercise in his job as a window cleaner. He is hoping to do some fund-raising work with footballing friends at Newsome FC.

Anyone wishing to donate can go to: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/everest4kirkwood

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