Donington father and son to reach their peak in Himalayan charity trek

David Wilkinson who is climbing the Mera and Island Peaks in the Himalayas with his teenage son James Wilkinson.
David Wilkinson who is climbing the Mera and Island Peaks in the Himalayas with his teenage son James Wilkinson.
  • Pair to go on Nepalese expedition for Macmillan Cancer Support

A Donington pair are to take “like father, like son” to a whole new level when they trek up two mountain peaks in southern Asia for cancer in October.

David Wilkinson (47) and his son James (18) will face a test of both altitude and stamina when they climb Mera and Island Peaks, with a combined height of 41,550 feet, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

For David, a mobile crane operator in the construction industry, it will be the latest in a long line of high-peak challenges which included a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro with his brother Tony Wilkinson in October 2014.

“As youngsters, we had years and years of going on holidays to Wales so outdoor pursuits and sports have always been a big part of my life,” David said.

“Climbing is all about stamina and the will to carry on, things I found out when I climbed Kilimanjaro with Tony.

“But the Mera and Island Peaks will be a little step further for me because it’ll involve a reasonable amount of climbing technique, using crampons, ice axes and ropes.

James Wilkinson (18) who is climbing the Mera and Island Peaks in the Himalayas with his father David Wilkinson.

James Wilkinson (18) who is climbing the Mera and Island Peaks in the Himalayas with his father David Wilkinson.

“It’ll be proper climbing where you have to be able to cope with being out on your feet for seven to eight hours a day.”

The 24-day expedition to the Himalayas in Nepal will be a brand new experience for James, an apprentice plant grower in the horticultural industry.

David said: “My son took an interest in Tony and me climbing Kilimanjaro two years ago so he wanted to come along with me this time.

“This will be the first climb James has done, but he’s very keen on physical exercise and likes to keep himself fit.

When this trip to the Mera and Island Peaks came up, I thought it would be opportunity of a lifetime for an 18-year-old like James

David Wilkinson (47), of Donington

“When this trip to the Mera and Island Peaks came up, I thought of it as an opportunity of a lifetime for an 18-year-old.

“A 24-day climb where we’ll fly to a small town in Nepal called Lukla and then start climbing, progressing through various terrains by scrambling, going over a rock ridge and a glacier.”

However, the outlook for David was very different though in September 2013 when he suffered a brain haemorrhage while exercising at home.

But after ten days in hospital and a further three months recovering at home, David was well enough to climb Kilimanjaro with Tony a year later.

“We’re raising funds for Macmillan because the charity offers all sorts of support to people with cancer,” David said.

“James is very excited and we’re aiming to raise as much money as we can.”

To sponsor David and James, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Wilkinson40?utm_id=26

Sub-zero climb for hospital that saved dad’s life

Intensive care to Kilimanjaro A life in pictures: David Wilkinson