Romford woman’s Everest bid

It may be a tall order, but a gutsy Romford woman is planning to tackle the world’s highest mountain to help raise half a million pounds for charity.

Hazel Grace, 44, will join 26 others from wealth management company St. James’s Place in the challenge next spring.

The team will fly to Kathmandu in Nepal in April to trek over 120 miles of gruelling terrain to Everest base camp at a height of 17,500 feet and will aim to climb Kala Patthar at 18,500 feet.

Their team leader, senior management consultant Roger Owen – and one of Britain’s leading mountain climbers - will then go on to complete the ascent of the mountain.

Hazel, a client manager for the company, said: “I promised a friend of mine that I was going to do something each year that scared me, but nothing as much as this does. You need a bit of fear to spur you on. This trek represents a huge commitment and change of lifestyle for me having gone from no exercise at all to training every day.”

The group aims to raise �500,000 for the St. James’s Place Foundation, to help hospices and children with special needs.

Support will also be provided for Children of the Himalayas, a charity which has been responsible for building 14 Malnutrition Centres throughout Nepal

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Roger said: “Many will find this an extreme physical and mental challenge where they will be completely outside their comfort zone for three weeks. They will be following the route to Base Camp taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing in 1953. It requires careful acclimatisation, as they go higher and higher.”

Hazel, who underwent a tough selection process for the challenge, will train in the Alps and the Lake District before the challenge.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Hazel Grace can do so by contacting her on: .