University of Leicester staff and students to climb the height of Everest on campus to raise money for Nepal earthquake relief

Posted by ap507 at Apr 30, 2015 03:15 PM |
Team to climb Attenborough Tower 171 times in honour of those killed in tragedy, including Leicester student Eve Girawong

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 30 April 2015

Media/ photo opportunity: 9.30am on Wednesday 6 May, at the base of Attenborough Tower, University of Leicester. There will also be another media opportunity at 12.25pm when Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, will be beginning his climb. Contact or 0116 229 7467 to arrange

Image of Attenborough Tower attached. Credit: University of Leicester

University of Leicester staff and students will attempt to climb the height of Mount Everest by ascending over 46,000 steps to raise money for the Nepal earthquake appeal.

The Attenborough Tower, the tallest building on the University of Leicester’s campus, stands at 52 metres high. Mount Everest is 171 times higher, at 8,848 metres.

On Wednesday 6 May, between 9.30am and 3.30pm, students and staff will join to climb the height of Everest . . . in Leicester.

Together they will attempt to climb the staircase of the Attenborough Tower – which has 270 steps – 171 times, meaning they will need to tackle 46,170 steps in order to reach their goal.

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, will be among the 130+ volunteers being sponsored to take part in the joint climb.

The fundraising event has been organised by the University of Leicester’s Mountaineering Club and Dr Mary Ann Lund, of the University’s School of English and endorsed by one of Britain's leading alpine climbers, Kenton Cool, who has successfully climbed Mount Everest eleven times, including leading Sir Ranulph Fiennes' 2008 and 2009 Expeditions. He said: “Love this idea, wishing you all the best in your quest to scale 8,848 metres up the Tower... interestingly David Attenborough* was a big climber in his day, and once said that any Englishman should at some stage in his life consider climbing Everest, making this even more special. Nepal has really been hit hard by this disaster and needs all the help we can provide, I'd like to say a big thank you from all my friends and colleagues in Nepal...climb hard, climb safe.”

Ellie Fuller, a 2nd Year English student, and member of the Mountaineering Club committee, said: “I am really glad to be able to be part of this fundraising initiative.  I travelled there two years ago and remember the kind, gentle and open friendliness of many of the Nepalese people, particularly in the mountainous regions where the children would play with us and give us flowers. I felt so strongly that we need to do something to help.

“Also as a climber I am saddened that climbers on Everest have suffered and lost lives in numbers higher than ever before while attempting what for many is the ultimate mountaineering challenge.

“While climbing Everest itself is somewhat beyond the Mountaineering Club’s members’ current ability levels, we’re all keen to support a joint ‘climb' of the total distance – one has even pledged to do it while carrying 15kg of climbing gear.”

Dr Mary Ann Lund added: “We are climbing to raise money to help those affected by the devastating earthquake and honour the memories of all those who have died, among them postgraduate student Eve Girawong. We honour her life and work in mountain medicine.

“For each climb, we aim to raise at least £10 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Campaign and need volunteers and donations to reach our target of £1,710.”

Eve Girawong was on an expedition with Madison Mountaineering when the devastating earthquake struck on Saturday (25 April). She was a student on a postgraduate course in mountain medicine at the University of Leicester, and had completed two of the residential modules.

To make a donation visit:

For more information about the event visit the ‘Climb Everest in Leicester for Nepal Earthquake Relief’ Facebook page at:


Notes to editors:

For interviews and more information contact Dr Mary Ann Lund at: or contact Ellie Fuller at:

Read a tribute to Eve Girawong by Dr Peter Barry, of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, at:

*The Attenborough Tower was named after Frederick Attenborough, who was principal of the then University College 1931–1951, and father of Richard and David Attenborough.

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