A SEASHELL supporter will be donning his hiking boots and facing temperatures of minus 22 degrees in an endurance challenge to Everest Base Camp.

Michael Hartig and his fellow hikers will endure temperatures ranging from minus 22 degrees at night to 12 degrees during the day, walking for up to nine hours a day, scaling thousands of feet and having to acclimatise to the lower oxygen levels that come with altitude challenges.

But Michael is determined to complete the 17-day trek to raise funds for a charity he is so passionate about.

“I will be anxious, nervous and without communication so there will be a whole mix of emotions going on,” said Michael. “But knowing that I’m doing it for Seashell will be the thing I remind myself of when things get difficult.”

Michael and his work colleagues have long been supporters of our organization. He is on the appeal board for the Transforming Lives Appeal and has previously done fundraising events for Seashell – though nothing quite as adventurous as this!

“I did the Arctic Circle with my son and I’ve done things like the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Snowdon…but nothing like this.”

Although a background in mountain hikes undoubtedly helps, the real test is managing to stay focused and maintain energy levels while breathing in less oxygen than residents of Cheshire are used to. To help acclimatize, Michael has been wearing a special mask at home, which imitates the type of air he will be breathing as he heads towards base camp.

As well as the pre-event training, the group will also have “acclimatization days” where they hike higher, but then retreat to lower ground to sleep.

As the trek website says: “The Everest region is filled with sheer 8000m Himalayan peaks, ancient monasteries, tales of legendary mountaineers and perhaps even the mythical Yeti. So, trekking in Everest is a mixture of cultural, spiritual and physical experience and we have designed it to be more adventurous and fun adding an overnight stay at Everest base camp.”

So far Michael has raised almost £6,000, with his employers Barclays agreeing to match-fund the first £1,000. But the more he raises, the more we can achieve for our children and young people with complex disabilities. If you’d like to support Michael visit his JustGiving Page.