A MAN has climbed to Mount Everest’s base camp and placed an enduring tribute to his sister.
Julian Henshaw, aged 48 of Pentre Broughton, has made the 17,400ft ascent in memory of his sister Debbie. She died from cancer in 2006, aged 37.
Mr Henshaw said he had found it difficult to come to terms with his loss, but his mountainous challenge is a lasting tribute to his sister.
He placed a brass plaque for her at the base camp and is using the expedition to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
“This was the hardest thing I have ever attempted,” said Mr Henshaw, who works as a risk assessor in the water industry.
“I collapsed twice on day two suffering with severe altitude sickness. I needed oxygen and treatment. I had to miss a day but managed to catch up and continue on to base camp.
“I was lucky not to be sent back down the mountain with a sherpa. Out of a group of 29 people only 25 reached base camp. After nine long days of trekking we arrived at Everest base camp memorial. The temperature was minus 15 with a biting wind.
“I placed the brass plaque on the memorial for my sister. I had it made specially. It said ‘In Loving Memory of my Beautiful Sister Debbie. Always in my Thoughts and Love. Your Big Brother Julian’.
“It was such an emotional moment for me, a combination of relief at finally reaching base camp after such an arduous ordeal and putting my sister to rest.”
Mr Henshaw stressed the journey back was equally tough. In total the adventure was for 16 long and gruelling days. But the results made everything worthwhile.
“The whole group on arrival back to Kathmandu were told by Macmillan we had raised £170,000, this may reach £200,000,” he said.
Mr Henshaw trained in the wilds of Snowdonia for a year to get ready for the expedition. As well as being physically demanding he had to be strong mentally to keep going.
“I would like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me as well as the guides who helped us reach base camp and get back safely,” he said.
Mr Henshaw said he may take on another extreme challenge in the next couple of years, possibly walking the Great Wall of China or scaling the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.