AN East Lancashire man has become the first Englishman to reach the summit of a remote Nepalese mountain.
Paul Taylor, 45, decided to take on the epic challenge to scale the 23,345ft peak – 6,000ft lower than Everest – and raised money for the East Lancashire Hospice at the same time.
The mountain, Himlung Himal, is one of the most infrequently visited mountains of Nepal, lying between the border with Tibet in the north of the Annapurna and Manaslu regions.
It only opened to the public in 2001 and few expeditions have been made.
Himlung Himal is not a mountain for those new to climbing and it took Mr Taylor and his team a month to complete the trip.
As temperatures dropped to minus 30 towards the summit, three of the team were picked up by helicopter, unable to carry on. Two developed frostbite and every one of the adventurers faced altitude sickness as they climbed to 7,128m.
Mr Taylor had hoped to ski back down the mountain but was only able to do so for part of the way as the terrain was unsuitable.
The father from Hoddlesden said: “This was my 11th expedition so I was well prepared.
“I really wanted to do this one as it is in a remote part of Nepal and I fancied skiing part of it. I’ve given to the hospice before after previous trips but never ask people for sponsorship money.”
Mr Taylor asked his team to donate the rupees they had left at the end of the trip to be changed back into sterling for charity, which raised almost £250. Another donation was made from a talk he gave to a local group.
Kimberley Hall, hospice fundraiser said: “Most people would be terrified of climbing a mountain in such a remote location but Paul is experienced in these kinds of expeditions and seemed to take it in his stride.
“And although he didn’t set out do to it as a fundraiser, he found a way to raise money while on his trip, and by doing a talk about his experiences on his return. His donation will make a difference by helping to provide care for our patients and their families.”