Kimberley family's joy after completing 'hugely emotional' fundraising trek to Everest

Three generations of a Kimberley family completed the trek of a lifetime in Nepal this month – raising almost £2,000 for charity in the process.

By Lucy Roberts
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 10:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 10:40 am
Kimberley resident Gavin Skevington (left) and his son Alexander Skevington standing triumphant at Everest Base Camp.
Kimberley resident Gavin Skevington (left) and his son Alexander Skevington standing triumphant at Everest Base Camp.

Alexander Skevington, 13, his father Gavin Skevington, 38, and grandfather Martin Skevington, 59, were faced with sub-zero temperatures and dangerous climbs during their monumental journey to Everest Base Camp.

The trio took on the challenge to raise money for Nottingham Breast Cancer Research and Unique Rare Chromosome, which are charities close to their hearts.

Gavin said: “When Alexander was seven, he conquered Snowdon and three weeks later was in hospital with HSP that left him on a drip and unable to walk.

“As a result of that illness we discovered that Alexander, myself and my other children carry a rare genetic deletion linked to Timothy Syndrome.

“At the same time we discovered my wife, Alexander’s mum, was diagnosed with breast cancer and went onto a clinical trial of chemotherapy and surgery.

“When she was cured it was decided we would fulfil our dream of going to Base Camp.”

The trio touched down in Kathmandu on April 8, before boarding the plane to Lukla airport, which has been dubbed the ‘most dangerous airport in the world’.

Gavin said: “Sitting in the plane, Alexander was far more relaxed than I was but still we both held on through the turbulence.”

From there, they began their 11-day climb through the Himalayas.

“The journey was hard and despite training for two years, there’s no preparing you for a world where oxygen saturation levels drop dangerously low and each step feels like a marathon,” Gavin said.

“The suspension bridges, one of which was 100 metres high, were terrifying but exhilarating at the same time.

“We were keen to embrace everything but even so, feeling the sway of the bridge with every step had your gripping on for your life.

“When we hit Base Camp, it was hugely emotional and I was able to find out we had raised nearly £2,000 to be shared between our charities.

“Standing on the painted rock with my dad and my son was a huge accomplishment.

“Raising almost £2,000 and keeping a promise to my son means the world to me."

Alexander, who attends Kimberley Comprehensive School, added: “The best part was seeing Everest for the first time, it was like everything we had waited for was coming true.”

The journey didn’t stop there for Gavin and Alexander though, as they made one final push to climb up even higher and watch the sunrise from Kala Pather – at 5,644 metres – the following morning.

“Every step was so hard and even the water I was drinking froze to my clothes,” Alexander said.

Gavin added: “We pushed and pushed until we were high enough to claim victory and see the peaks aglow like fire.

“When we got back to the tea house, we realised the wind chill and weather had seen us walking in -14 weather and it took a long time to warm up.

“Overall, this journey was more than just a walk to see big rocks. It was a right of passage that, with the sponsorship following behind, made it a way of recovering from the stresses and strains that life has thrown at us as a family.”

Although the sponsorship page is closed, the Skevington family is urging anyone who still wishes to donate to do so to the charities directly.

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