Athlone Advertiser Friday, 7 January 2011

Athlone advertiser

Ireland to Everest climb kicks off in Westmeath

Westmeath is set to be the starting point of a charity Everest climb this year in aid of Cysti Fibrosis Association of Ireland (CFAi). The 32 Steps for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), will start in early January 2011 in Co Westmeath and finish in Nepal in May 2012 and will see a team of climbers scale the highest points in each of the 32 counties (never before undertaken for charity), and some other parts of the world, before tackling Everest.
Undertaking this massive task are Cian O’Brolchain and Lorna Murphy two intrepid climbers who, with the help of experienced Everest climber lan Taylor, hope to climb in excess of 175,000ft throughout the duration. Members of the public will be encouraged join the team at the various locations throughout Ireland and can participate in the easier climbs.
The aim of this fundraising drive is to establish a National Lung Transplant Support Fund for Ireland. Transplants are a crucial part of the range of recognised interventions required to manage CF and to patients it can be a lifesaving operation.
As well as conquering the 32 highest points in each of the 32 counties in Ireland the team will also climb Mt Blanc in France (the highest mountain in western Europe); Denali in Alaska (the highest mountain in North America); Cho Oyu in Tibet (the sixth highest mountain in the world); Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest mountain in the world outside Asia); Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (the highest free standing mountain in the world) and lastly the highest mountain in the world, Mt Everest in Nepal. Cian says: “A few years ago I coached tennis to a child who had Cystic Fibrosis. It amazed me the way he was able to play and do everything that the other kids could do. I have always liked climbing and challenging myself in different situations. Climbing Everest has been something I have wanted to do since I was very young but that would be too much of a task for a person with CF. There is a strong link between what people with CF experience every day and people who climb at very high altitude go through, ie lack of oxygen, so we thought it was a good tie in for the CF cause.”
The challenge begins at 12pm, Sunday January 9, at Mullaghmeen Forest Park (car park) in Co Westmeath and is followed by Slieve Ni Calliagh in Meath on January 23. Both of these climbs are suitable for all levels of fitness and public support is welcomed. For full location details see

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