MOUNT Everest and a possible record awaits a intrepid man from Leamington.
Max Stainton, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is preparing to attempt to become the first disabled person in the world to reach Everest Base Camp on horseback.
The 26-year-old has set up the Riding Everest project to challenge perceptions of disabled people and to raise funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association’s (RDA’s) new National Training Centre in Warwickshire.
Having teamed up with independent travel company, Adventure Alternative, Max and his team will set out on their journey next March and expect the trek to last 16 days.
Max’s condition makes it difficult for his body to retain heat and he is unable to walk without assistance, so making the trip to the 5km high Base Camp is going to be incredibly challenging.
Max, who was born with cerebral palsy, first attended RDA’s Stratford centre aged five, and says it allowed him to find confidence and socialise in ways otherwise impossible to him.
Max, who studied at Warwick University and who now works in finance, told The Observer: “As a child, RDA was one of the first consistent therapies I had. It not only provided regular therapy for my condition, but it allowed me to take part in a sport I could participate in and interact with a different set of people and make new friends.
“Riding Everest is going to be really, massively difficult because of my cerebral palsy. Even for an able-bodied person, riding eight hours a day will be incredibly challenging. I’m going to be taking my body to the extreme limits of its endurance.
“We want exciting, dynamic and adventurous people and organisations to join us on this incredible journey, and make it a truly global success.”
Riding Everest project manager Giles Newton was looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “Our goals with Riding Everest are to raise money for RDA and to raise awareness of what people with cerebral palsy can achieve.
“Here is a guy who is almost 24/7 reliant on other people to live. He is a truly inspirational person and I cannot wait to help him achieve his main goal and get to Everest Base Camp.”
Visit www.ridingeverest.com for further details and to find out about sponsorship opportunities.