Greg Mulholland writes… climbing volcanoes in Ecuador

First ascent- Team photoWhilst most MPs are taking a short break from Parliamentary work and recuperating from the exertions of electioneering, I’ve been keeping myself busy climbing volcanoes in Ecuador to raise money for The Royal British Legion.

Yesterday we tackled our first ascent; climbing to the peak of Pasochoa, a 4,200m extinct volcano located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorean Andes. It was a hard first climb, but has helped to prepare us for the arduous climbs ahead. Acclimatising to the high altitude was our main goal yesterday, and thankfully we all successfully made it to the top of Pasochoa, although some of the team have been struggling with altitude headaches!

Today we took on Ruca Pichincha, an active stratovolcano that hangs over the western side of Quito and is 480 metres higher than Pasochoa. We battled through rain and fog, but eventually got to the summit and at the end of a very wet mountain climbing day all I wanted was a cup of tea! After much confusion, one of our Ecuadorian guides Jaime helped me get a proper cup of English tea with milk. The climb was tougher than yesterday but hearing that our fundraising total is increasing day by day is certainly making it worthwhile!

We’re putting ourselves through this arduous challenge to help raise funds and awareness of the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre. The Centre provides sports and adventurous activities such as climbing, caving, wheelchair basketball and archery for wounded, injured and sick Service men and women. They have tailored programmes with both physical and psychological challenges to help boost self-confidence and improve motivation to aid recovery.

This is the first expedition with a team from the Battle Back Centre, and I am honoured to be taking part. I’ve been climbing alongside soldiers and veterans and have heard first-hand how the Centre has changed their lives after they went through traumatic, life changing experiences.

Please support us by donating via our JustGiving site http://www.justgiving.com/TRBLEcuador2014 or by texting “TRBL93” + the amount to 70070. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated, and you can keep updated on our whereabouts via my website or twitter.

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2 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 30th May '14 - 6:53pm

    This sounds good. I am quite a fan of “community politics”. I also applaud anything that helps armed forces veterans and have heard of this Battle Back campaign before, when it was helping someone suffering from quite extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Best of luck. I would donate if I were able to.

  • Smart move Greg. Better even that a trade mission to China. Always good to see people doing stuff for the Legion.

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