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Fundraiser to scale new heights for hospice fund

PUBLISHED: 15:46 25 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has set his sights on climbing Europe s highest mountain to raise money for the charity he works for. Stuart Maslin, general manager of trading for St Christopher s Hospice, Sydenham, has been training hard for the ambitious hike up Mo

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has set his sights on climbing Europe's highest mountain to raise money for the charity he works for.

Stuart Maslin, general manager of trading for St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, has been training hard for the ambitious hike up Mont Blanc in the Alps of Western Europe.

He is due to set off on the four-day journey, two of which will be spent climbing, on June 28 after meeting his five companions and a guide in Geneva, Switzerland.

Chislehurst born Mr Maslin, of Millverton Way, New Eltham, said: "I'm very excited but do have a feeling of mild trepidation because rock climbing is something that is new to me."

He embarked on a gruelling training regime three months ago to ensure he will be able to tackle the 4,807m-high challenge ahead. The team will reach the mountain summit at dawn on July 2.

He said: "I've been training like mad for it and feel pretty fit. I've lost about a 11/2 stone over the past few months through running, weightlifting and swimming. I've also been getting used to carrying a heavy backpack."

Although Mr Maslin has climbed the three peaks of England, Scotland and Wales, he has never attempted anything on the scale of Mont Blanc before.

He said: "I've done some hill walking but I've never used ice picks or ropes which I've been learning now. I'm up for the challenge but feel a little nervous.

"St Christopher's is an amazing charity, I want to do all I can to support its work and am hoping to raise several thousand. Careys Recyclable Collections are meeting all my expenses so every penny I raise will go towards improving the St Christopher's shops and this will encourage shoppers to donate and buy goods from us".

Mont Blanc, which means 'white mountain' in French, is also known as Le Dame Blanche, meaning 'white lady'.

The first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and the doctor Michel Paccard. And the first woman to reach the summit was Marie Paradis in 1808.It is now climbed by an average 20,000 mountaineer-tourists each year.

All the proceeds of Mr Maslin's climb will go to St Christopher's which offers care and support to people suffering from terminal illness.

n To sponsor Mr Maslin, visit his web page www.justgiving.com/stuartmaslin

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