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Boys' Plan to Scale Europe's Highest Peak

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Aston Haslam and Ethan Watson are planning a mountaineering adventure for their summer holidays. Although they are both in Year 12 and under eighteen, they have planned an expedition to climb Mont Blanc!

“We’ve been on trips with School such as Winter Mountaineering and various climbing trips,” Ethan said. “Now we’re looking for the next challenge. This was the best thing we could think of to do next.”

Aston added, “We can build on this experience and go on to do bigger mountains in future.”

The boys applied to The Scott Trust for some funding to help with the venture. After completing interviews to demonstrate that they had a good plan in place, their application was successful and they have been awarded £500 each. However, they are also planning sponsored events and a crowdfunding campaign to raise additional funds.

Their Scott Trust grant has allowed them to book their flights and accommodation, and they will be in the Alps for intensive one week in early August. In the days leading up to their ascent of Mont Blanc, Aston and Ethan will also climb Gran Paradiso to help them to acclimatise, adding to the challenge they face.

Although they are understandable excited at the prospect of reaching the top, both boys agreed that they don’t have quite enough mountaineering experience to tackle Europe’s highest mountain alone. They will therefore be led by a guide, but finding one caused some problems for the pair.

“When we were looking for guides, we had to send out a lot of letters because a lot of the ones we contacted would only take people who are over eighteen, and we’re both seventeen,” Ethan said. He continued, “It’s a big challenge, because we won’t be with anyone other than the guide. We won’t be with parents or teachers and we’ll be left to ourselves, so that will be a new experience.”

Climbing Mont Blanc is bound to be an amazing opportunity for both boys to enhance their mountaineering skills in an amazing environment, and will be something they remember for years to come.

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Ethan and Aston in front of the Boys

Ethan and Aston in front of the Boys' Division climbing wall