Simon’s Matterhorn challenge for charity

editorial image

Exeperienced mountaineer Simon Tinley spoke this week about his epic adventure to scale the iconic Matterhorn for a Parkinson’s charity.

The 38-year-old engineer from Bearsden said the mountain on the Italian/Swiss Alpine border was one of the toughest challenges he has ever undertaken despite an intensely tough training.

The married father of two, said: “Working every muscle group hard for over 12 hours at high altitude was exhausting and I suffered some of the effects of acute mountain sickness. I had a headache, dizziness and completely lost my appetite.

“The latter two are not good symptoms when you need to keep your balance on extremely exposed terrain, and you need fuel for your body.”

To acclimatise to the 4,478m mountain Simon took a cable car up from Chamonix to 3300m and slept the night before the attempt. He then headed to Zermatt for the start of the climb.

He said: “I had a mountain guide and we took a short cable car ride then hiked with massive rucksacks for two hours to a suitable flat-ish site for a bivouac where we cooked and slept out under the stars. “We woke at 2am and after a quick breakfast, headed off into the dark guided only by our head torches.

“The climb itself was strenuous right from the start.

“A vertical wall was the introduction, and it didn’t really ease until we were on the summit ridge 5hrs later. It is a knife edge, approximately 100m long and has a Swiss summit and an Italian summit. I tip-toed across it slowly, roped up and it was a magnificent experience. The clouds were thousands of feet below us and the air was thin, the sun shining and the views breathtaking. The sense of achievement was euphoric.”

To donate to Simon’s cause go to his fundraising site at www.justgiving.com/SiTinleyMatterhornChallenge