At the base of Mont Blanc
- By Richard Branson -
- Sep 03, 2012
At the base of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, getting ready to go up Mont Blanc for the Big Climb.
We are getting our bodies adjusted to the height to try to avoid altitude sickness. We’ll be spending tonight in a hut high up the mountain to help us acclimatise.
The weather conditions are quite interesting. There has been a lot of snow but hopefully by the time we actually do the climb on Wednesday afternoon some of the snow will have melted.
Six of the team doing the climb were all part of the giant caterpillar that broke a world record in the London Marathon in 2010 - when I was the honorary butterfly. On this occasion they are bringing me along as honorary mascot, as I have done a lot of challenges in my lifetime and somehow survived them all! I’m greatly honoured that my kids and their friends would invite me along.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe. All of us have trained well in our own way, some using Virgin Active health clubs, others like myself doing a lot of kitesurfing and other activities to get really fit for it.
None of us have climbed any mountains so each of us is fortunate enough to have a guide coming with us. We are hoping to raise a lot of money for Big Change Charitable Trust, a great organisation that all of the climbers are involved in. They work in partnership with charitable projects throughout the UK and hope to inspire and encourage young people to be the very best that they can be.
We want something positive to come out of the Big Climb. A lot of the kids have been quite fortunate in their lifetime; they want to make a difference to other kids who have had a tougher time.
Everybody on the trip is very close personal friends, which makes an adventure like this all the more fun. Everybody knows each other’s weaknesses and strengths.
We're going to shout your messages from the top of Mont Blanc if we make it in a few days. If you’ve got anything inspirational you would us to shout, let us know!
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group