John Pomfret facing triple challenge in Himalayas

Grimsby mountaineer John Pomfret facing triple challenge in Himalayas

GRIMSBY’S intrepid mountaineer John Pomfret said his next attempt at Mount Everest will be his last.

He is aiming to become the only man alive to complete a triple challenge in the Himalayas.

No one on record has conquered the south side of Everest, completed the Everest Marathon twice nor in one season tackled Everest and then as soon as one week later attempt the Everest Ultra Marathon.

The Grimsby builder will be accompanied by his friends Neil Corry and John Hammill, and American friend Craig Longobardi.

They are taking part in a quest to climb Island Peak, then conquer Everest and complete in the Tenzing Hillary marathon.

The foursome are in training for the marathon feat – the highest marathon in the world – and the hardest over 35 miles.

Having already reached the summit of the highest mountains in the world and having trekked and climbed in the Himalayas many times over the past 14 years, he is aiming to make his final summit attempt of Everest in aid of local charity Get Hooked On Positive Activities.

John said: “No one has done Everest from both sides and completed the ultra marathon.”

He added: “This is probably going to be my last summit attempt on Everest. It is not a particularly nice mountain. There are hundreds of other peaks in the Himalayas that have never been climbed.”

John said: “I just hope this time I come back with all my bits and don’t lose quite so much weight.”

His super-human effort will follow on from his offer to take adventurers on a trek to Island Peak in Tibet in March next year.

John is aiming to take about 12 budding mountaineers on a unique Himalayan expedition, which could cost about £2,000, depending how many join him.

John said: “I am just trying to delay the inevitable onset of getting older and want to keep myself as active I can. I know I am not going to be able to do this much longer.”

He said he was open to corporate sponsorship and has already gained the support of owners of The Coach House pub restaurant at Humberston along with Grimsby Institute. John is also grateful for a substantial donation from some Immingham friends.

He has managed to juggle running his construction firm J C Pomfret Construction Ltd with his mountaineering hobby.

The adventure will be the fifth time John has been on Island Peak. He took a party of 12 young adventurers from Grimsby Institute to The Himalayas in 2007, including his own son Luke and other students, who were studying on the Uniformed Services Course.

He said anyone considering joining him next year can hire mountaineering equipment in the area, rather than buy it in the UK.

John said: “None of them need to buy specialist equipment unless they are planning to do more peaks in the future.

“They do not need to have experience of climbing as they will be trained during the two-week trek to the mountain base camp.”

John, Neil and John Hamill are preparing for his latest attempt at Everest by going to the gym at least four times and regular endurance training out in the hills both locally and further afield as the weather turns more wintry.

Conditions in the Himalayas are extreme, with weather conditions deteriorating rapidly and temperatures varying from at least -20 degrees Centigrade on the mountain to as high as 30 degrees, created by the reflection of the sun from the snow. He has been sent best wishes by the nation’s greatest adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, with whom he spent a couple of days in a rest lodge in 2008 on the Everest trail.

The 70-year-old wrote to his friend “Pommy” saying he was working with cancer charity Marie Curie and could not visit Lincolnshire to help raise funds for GHOPA.

John gave Sir Ranulph some antibiotics and let the adventurer use his satellite telephone to make a brief call home. A number of months later a parcel arrived that contained a signed copy of one of his best selling novels, with a personal inscription on the cover.

Ranulph wrote: “I will never forget my chance meeting at a rest-house on the way up to the Everest base camp (Nepal-side) with John (Pommy) Pomfret and hearing his amazing story while on Everest in 2006, which we could see on the horizon out of the window. Pommy was taking a rest from a summit attempt on Amadablam and I was resting whilst heading to Everest Base Camp.”

John’s thirst for adventure began in 1999 when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.