President of Otley Pub Club and local MP, Greg Mulholland, is part of a 12 strong team who have climbed Cotopaxi, a 19,347ft active volcano in Ecuador, to raise funds for the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre. The Battle Back Cotopaxi Expedition 2014 team finished their final ascent last weekend after conquering 3 other volcanoes in Ecuador. The team have been training in preparation of the Cotopaxi climb which was the toughest challenge they have faced.
Greg and fellow MPs John Mann and Tracey Crouch are part of a team that includes serving soldiers and veterans who have benefitted from spending time at the Battle Back Centre. The Battle Back Centre helps achieve the best possible recovery to either return to service duty or make a smooth transition to civilian life. The team is hoping that the challenge will highlight the challenges that our brave servicemen and women who have been injured face, particularly the less spoken about mental scars of conflict.
In the days prior to the climb, other teams turned back on Cotopaxi due to the significant snowfall and avalanche danger, but the Battle Back team made their 15 hour summit bid on Saturday night. The successful Cotopaxi summit attempt was carried out despite treacherous conditions. The ascent was very heavy going and only 7 members of the 12-strong team pushed on to the summit, and Greg Mulholland was the only MP to do so.
If you can sponsor Greg and the team donations can be made via the JustGiving page wwww.justgiving.com/TRBLEcuador2014, text TRBL93 + the amount (e.g. £10) to 70070, or send a cheque payable to the Royal British Legion to Greg Mulholland MP, Battle Back Centre Cotopaxi Challenge, 12 Holt Park Centre, Holt Road, LS16 7SR.
Commenting afterwards, Greg said:
“After climbing Cotopaxi, I was absolutely shattered and in need of a hot bath! The climb was very heavy going and the incessant steep slopes were gruelling- this was ultimately the toughest physical challenge I have ever done. I’ve since been suffering with wind burn on my face and an aching neck!
“This is the first expedition from the Battle Back Centre and it is incredible that as a team we were successful in summiting Cotopaxi. This is a remarkable achievement for the serving soldiers and veterans, Lyndon, Luke and Paul, who have all been through the Battle Back Centre, and it has been fascinating and humbling working with them.
“Thanks to our Expedition team leader Dave Bunting, the Carnegie Great Outdoors team and our Ecuadorian Jagged Globe Guides, Jaime and Diego, for planning and ultimately making this a successful expedition. Without their expert knowledge we wouldn’t have made it to the top!
“Thank you to all of you who have already donated and helped push us through this gruelling challenge! There’s still time to donate, by visiting our JustGiving site http://www.justgiving.com/TRBLEcuador2014, or cheques payable to The Royal British Legion can be sent to my office- Greg Mulholland MP, Wainwright House, 12 Holt Park Centre, Holt Road, Leeds, LS16 7SR.”