A 71-YEAR-OLD man from Burnside was at his peak recently – as he scaled South America’s tallest mountain.
Jimmy Munro, who stays in Blairbeth Road, reached the peak of the Aconcagua mountain in Argentina, after spending nearly a month in the country preparing for the challenge.
And as a result of his climb, he earned over £2000 for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.
He said: “It was a good trip, it went well, and it was for a really good cause too.
“I was out there for nearly the whole of January, and the biggest part was acclimatisation, because of the height of the mountain.
“We needed to spend a fair bit of time getting used to that, so it wasn’t until the last three or four days that we started to prepare for reaching the summit.”
An avid hill-walker and climber, the Aconcagua mountain was Jimmy’s toughest challenge yet.
With a summit of 23,000 feet, it‘s the biggest mountain in the world outside Asia.
But the trip nearly ended in disaster after the weather took a bad turn and nearly forced the venture to be abandoned.
Jimmy explained: “It was tougher than we expected, and it became a race against time in the last few hours. We had to move everything up a day at the end, as we heard the weather was going to get worse, and they were predicting storms.
“So we left our third base camp, which was about 20,000 feet, earlier than we expected, and didn’t take as long to acclimatise. That nearly finished us off.
“There were 14 of us in our party, and five couldn’t carry on and had to turn back.
“Then we were told that the weather was getting even worse, and we should abandon it, but we decided to push on as we were so close.
“When we reached the top the weather was atrocious – there were gale force winds, rain and a storm was coming in.
“In fact, there was so much static that a girl with long hair in our party actually had her hair stand up on end, it was so bad!
“But we made the top, and managed to take a few photos. I put up a wee flag saying Yorkhill, and then we headed back down towards our camp.”
Jimmy was delighted to raise the money for Yorkhill, especially as there are family connections involved.
“My niece is a doctor at Yorkhill, so I know what it’s like for them getting funding.
“Both my own children were born there too, so I was really glad that the money raised went there.”
And Jimmy isn’t ruling out another mountain climb in the future.
He said: “I’ve actually got my eye on Mount McKinley, or the Denali Mountain as it’s officially called, which is in Alaska.
“But it’s my daughter’s wedding next year, so that’ll have to wait until 2011.
“I’m 71, and I can’t go on forever, but as long as my health is fine I’ll continue to climb.”