Sanjeev, Meera, Harry, Aneka, Stuti & Dhruv are delighted to announce their forthcoming fundraiser event, The Mont Blanc Challenge.
Post Event Update
7th August 2017, Harry Bhogal
We are back home after an eventful week! A bit of a sad start as someone died on Mont Blanc on the Saturday we arrived! It brought home the reality of the dangers we were going to face but we were very lucky to have some superb guides! Jean, Andy, Mateau and Marco who were with Mont Blanc Guides.
Unfortunately we were advised on Monday that the weather was against us on this trip and it was unsafe for us to ascend Mont Blanc because of storms! For one of our group who had travelled all the way from Australia, this was the second time that the weather had prevented his ascent to Mont Blanc!! Mont Blanc guides take no chances and we learnt how incredibly precise the guides' knowledge of weather and the mountains was over the next few days.
Whilst we were disappointed we understood the decision made by the guides was for our safety.
However that was not the end of our adventures or challenges for the week. To the contrary, they were just the start. We travelled to Italy to the Gran Paradiso National Park where we climbed 900 metres to the Chabod Hut which was home for two nights. Our first ascent was 1300 metres to the top of Gran Paradiso. We also tried some rock climbing whilst we were there just for fun!! The next day back in Chamonix, we climbed the Arete a Laurence on the Aiguille du Midi at 3800 metres. We managed to squeeze in time for a coffee at the Cosmiques Hut before the storm came in! The following day we travelled back into Italy to try to circumnavigate the storms and headed to the Monte Rosa Massif. Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps. After scrambling across rocks and crossing glaciers we reached the Gnifetti Hut at 3647 metres! This impressive hut located on a rock is accessed only by helicopter or by climbing its vertical edges. This was home for one night! Our guides advised us that due to the inclement weather, We had a short 5 hour window to make our ascent and return to Pyramid Vincent at 4215 metres.
It certainly was a challenging week, mentally and physically. We encountered acute mountain sickness, faced some of our fears and were forced to overcome some of our weaknesses. We had to dig deep on many occasions but we had each other and it has brought us closer together as a family! As individuals, we each learnt something new about ourselves.
The mountains are an incredible place and it was a humbling experience allowing us to see some beautiful sights! A special thanks to our guides who kept us safe and made our trip challenging and fun!
Thank you once again to our family and friends who have supported us. We are so grateful to you for helping us raise money for our charities.
Meera Bhogal, 12 May 2017
Late last year we were relaxing after an evening meal when Sanjeev said very casually, "Do you fancy climbing Mont Blanc?". We replied, equally casually, "Yes sure". I can only think that we must have been in a carb induced comatosed state to have agreed to such a thing. Well here we are and with only 11 weeks to go, the challenge is on and it is very real. We are a group of 6 family members; Sanjeev (the one responsible), Harry (the responsible one as opposed to the one responsible), Aneka (who believes she will be carried up), Stuti (who will move the mountain if she has to), Dhruv (who is so cool he will float up) and me (who is in denial that it’s happening). We all have our demons we will need to work through to undertake and complete this challenge, but I can’t think of a more inspirational group of people to share this experience with. We are all determined, stubborn, competitive, love to push ourselves to our limits and above all, we are a close nit family who support and love each other. So I guess we have the right mindset which is a great start.
So what is the challenge?
We will be climbing two mountains over 6 days. The first three days will be aimed at climbing a 'training' mountain, Grand Paradisio which stands at 4061m. This will be our opportunity to experience working and sleeping at altitude, as well as using ropes, harnesses, pick axes, crampons and learning how to identify and avoid crevasses. We will be climbing for between 5-7 hours a day. The next three days is all about the ascent to Mont Blanc, which stands at an incredible 4808m. Weather permitting, we will spend 6 hours climbing a 1:3 ascent to the summit and 6 hours back to our base camp, with a further 6 hour descent home to Chamonix. None of us have climbed before, so this is a serious challenge and perhaps not the best one to do as an introduction to climbing!
So why are we doing this crazy thing?
Well as I've said we all love a challenge but there is also our belief as a family in giving to those less fortunate than us. We all have different charities we support as individuals and we respect each other’s views and wishes. In line with this, we will all support each other in raising money for all the charities we feel a strong connection with.
One Kind Act is one of these charities. This is a new charity which has been founded on the principle of trying to change the lives of those who are suffering due to poverty, poor health, lack of education or nutrition and those who have fallen through the net of fundraising from the larger charities. Their work has also been recognised as they have been shortlisted for the Charity Startup of the Year Award by Asian Voice and powered by Charity Clarity.
Your donations will keep us motivated when we feel we can't go on or when the going gets tough, so we thank you for donating generously to such an amazing charity.
One Kind Act Changes Communities and lives of others globally who suffer as a result of Poverty of Health, Nutrition and Education and may have Fallen Through The Net of the larger charities. Learn More here