Bondgate IT is set to fly the flag in the rarefied atmosphere of the Himalayas – all in the name of a good cause.
However, the Darlington-based IT specialist is not opening a Nepal office but rather sponsoring Mitchell Smith’s gruelling trek to Everest Base Camp in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Once there, the North East business consultant will plant a Bondgate IT flag in the shadow of the world’s highest peak. He has already raised £4,100 for the charity as part of the Everest challenge in memory of his late father Frederick, who was badly affected by the disease.
Mitchell, who runs Newcastle-based Diagnostic Management Services Ltd, is working with Bondgate IT as a business coach and mentor. When managing director Garry Brown learnt of the expedition, he offered his immediate support.
The 54-year-old has been in training since September, walking up to 70 miles a week as well as tackling Ben Nevis and the Yorkshire Three Peaks and has previously raised more than £5,000 for the charity by completing the Coast to Coast and West Highland Way long distance paths.
The two-week expedition, which takes place later this month will involve Mitchell flying into Lukla, rated the world’s most dangerous airport, before trekking to Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5360m (17,585ft). He will then summit the 5644m (18,577ft) Kala Patthar which offers a close-up view of Everest.
In all, he will cover over 150 miles at an altitude with 50 per cent less oxygen than at sea level.
Mitchell, from Newcastle, said: “I’ll be spending at least 14 days at altitude, so this is definitely my toughest charity challenge to date”.
“I’m grateful for the generosity of so many people – including Garry Brown and Bondgate IT – in helping raise vital funds for research into this devastating disease which blights the lives of so many families in this region.
“I’ve covered more than 1,000 miles in training and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead – although I hope to avoid suffering altitude sickness, which is a common problem.”
Garry Brown said: “Mitchell has been working with Bondgate IT as part of our strategy to grow the business and I’m delighted to sponsor his endeavours – especially as he’s taking a Bondgate IT flag to Everest! Everyone here wishes him the very best of luck.”