‘Appallingly unfit’ Edinburgh man climbs Everest via Pentland Hills for charity

An Edinburgh man has set himself the challenge to climb the height of Everest on the Pentland Hills to raise money for charity CCHS UK.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:48 pm

Tom Griffiths, who described himself as ‘appallingly unfit’, will climb Carnethy Hill which is the Pentland’s second highest peak with an elevation of 573 metres a total of 16 times which is roughly the same height as the Earth’s highest mountain.

The 46-year-old Lloyds bank worker said: “Everyone who knows me knows that I’m appallingly unfit, but under current lockdown rules I won’t be at Everest but I’ll be taking on the Pentland Hills

“I started a week ago last Sunday and my wife joined, she’s done it twice with me now, but I think she will leave the rest for me.

“I’m walking the same route because I’ve not got a great sense of direction, but it’s a well beaten track.”

Mr Griffiths is raising money for CCHS UK, which supports families whose lives have been affected by Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome - a rare sleep related breathing disorder which is also known as Ondine’s.

It is a cause close to his heart as his cousin’s daughter, Georgia, was born with the condition in February last year.

The main consequence of the illness is a failure to automatically control breathing, which is always present during sleep, but may occur in some individuals when they are awake.

Tom is climbing the Pentland Hills 16 times, equivalent to the height of Everest

There are thought to be over 100 affected families in the UK.

“Ondine’s is incredibly rare and there are very few kids born with it,” he said, “Georgia was born just before lockdown in February last year and she, along with her parents has had to spend months in ICU, and with lockdown restrictions much of the family haven’t been able to meet her other than on Zoom or FaceTime.

“Beyond some rays of light for prolonging life, at the moment there is little hope of a cure for the illness.”

He has raised more than £1,000 so far but his employer will match any donations up to a total of £500.

His cousin's daughter, Georgia, was born with the rare condition CCHS

He added: “It’s been a timely reminder of how little exercise I do, but it’s nothing like the struggles Georgia goes through every day and that keeps me going.”

To support the fundraiser, please visit the Just Giving page.

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