Cancer survivor in a world first trek

ROUTE MAP: Jim at his home with a map of the planned 1,100 mile journey. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG150414-111TW
ROUTE MAP: Jim at his home with a map of the planned 1,100 mile journey. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG150414-111TW
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Cancer survivor Jim Booth will be 70 when he treks 1,100 miles on the High Himalaya route from India across Nepal to Tibet this year.

Jim, known as “Yeti man”, says no one has managed the feat before and it will involve visiting nine of the ten highest mountains on earth at altitudes between 4,000 and 7,000 metres.

He said: “It is scheduled to take 100 days allowing for snow avalanches, rock falls and trails swept away by weather.”

Jim is the world’s oldest man to have climbed Mt Kyazo and was due to climb Mt Khumbuste in November, but says “things hit a large snag”.

The large snag was the return of bowel cancer and that meant major surgery at Peterborough City Hospital to remove his bowel and stomach.

Jim, from Market Deeping, said: “I can’t offer enough praise for the wonderful treatment from the surgeon, consultant Liz Drye, and all the staff at city hospital.”

Most in Jim’s position would take life easier now, but he says staying active – and climbing – is his way of fighting the life-threatening disease that’s plagued him for so long.

He said: “I have battled with many forms of cancer in the last 12 years, but the main task is beating this disease and I keep looking for a major challenge to keep me going.

“This next one is much bigger than pulling a rickshaw from John O’Groats to Land’s End, which I did a few years ago in 32 days.

“The trouble with cancer, to be honest with you, is once you start sitting around little ailments become big millstones and then the stress sets in and cancer thrives on stress.”

The former Royal Marine is on a restricted diet since his surgery and a company from Langtoft is devising special meals for him to take on the trek, which begins in October.

Oxygen levels at altitude will be less than 60 per cent much of the time – sometimes as low as 40 per cent – but Jim is confident he’s a fit as he was 20 years ago.

His Roof of the World Trek is open to charity fundraisers who want to do their bit for the likes of Help for Heroes and Cancer Research – and they can dip in for any one of at least ten staging posts along the route. He said: “I would also welcome sponsors for such things as a satellite phone, trekking boots and warm clothing etc.”

l Anyone who wants to take part can call Jim on 07586 708891 or visit wwww.tripnepal – sponsors will have names on the trekkers’ clothing.