Watch the Virgin Strive Challenge rescue off the Matterhorn
Warning: this isn’t for the faint-hearted. Here’s the video of Sam being airlifted off the mountain as he struggled with altitude sickness after climbing the Matterhorn.
While it has been a huge team effort, the two people who got the Virgin Strive Challenge off the ground were Sam and my nephew Noah Devereux. Together with Stephen Shanly, the three of them reached the peak yesterday in incredibly tough circumstances. Sam and the rest of the team are doing fine today, emotionally and physically exhausted but jubilant at their achievements.
Noah is an absolutely exceptional young man in every way, and is always thinking about other people. Here’s another example of that.
Yesterday Richard Reed, who founded Innocent Drinks, was among the Strivers climbing the Matterhorn. Three quarters of the way up the mountain, his guide said that he had to turn back. Richard really felt he could have gone on, but obviously you do as your guide tells you and without complaining he went right down the mountain again.
At midnight tonight there is another weather window and Richard wants to get the job done. He plans to try to climb the Matterhorn again. Noah immediately volunteered to join him, as it isn’t in the spirit of the Virgin Strive Challenge to let him go alone.
We don’t think any non-professional has ever climbed the Matterhorn two days in a row – we’re checking with the Guinness World Record team right now!
They only have a small weather window to climb the mountain, and they’re having to start one and a half hours further down the mountain for the second day running, as the usual starting point - the Hörnli hut - is closed. They’ve even asked (the sadly made-up) theweatheryouwant.com to find a forecast that is favourable!
*Update: Weather closed in so Richard & Noah had to abandon their second Matterhorn climb. theweatheryouwant.com unreliable! Great effort team.
The best way to support their efforts is to keep donating to the Big Change charity, raising money for young people to develop life skills. As the team said, life and the Virgin STRIVE Challenge are about the journey… not the destination. Keep Striving!