A Fartown rock ‘n’ roll fan is getting high for charity.
John Wilby will be making a gruelling nine-day ascent to Mount Everest Base Camp next month.
And when the dad-of-two completes his climb at 5,380m (17,700 ft), he’ll be pulling out his ukulele for a rendition of a Chuck Berry hit.
He’s doing it for MacMillan Cancer Support in memory of his niece Nicola Laverack, who died from cancer in 2012, aged 37.
John will be flying to Kathmandu and onto Lukla Airport – the most dangerous airport in the world with a sheer drop at one end of the runway and a hillside at the other.
After touching down safely, John will rest in the village for a few days before attempting his 39-mile trek where he’ll ascend 2,500m to Everest Base Camp.
But distance itself isn’t the enemy – thin air at high altitude can make progress much tougher and even cause acute sickness.
John, 59, said: “I’ve been trekking around the Lake District and Fort William but this will be the biggest I’ve done by far.
“I think the highest I’ve ever been before is 2,000m in Switzerland.
“I’m just thinking about the altitude; I don’t want to think about the distance!”
But John, a mental health support worker, has been cycling and jogging to build up his fitness and is looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “I just can’t wait to get going.
“There isn’t a family that hasn’t experienced cancer is some way.”
John added: “I’m taking a ukulele because a guitar would be too big and I’m going to play Johnny B Goode at the base camp.
“I don’t think anyone else has done that yet.”
John will be keeping a diary of his trek at www.facebook.com/john.wilby.98 .
If you’d like to donate to his cause visit: www.justgiving.com/johnwilby2 .
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