Long Clawson mountaineer agonisingly forced back from summit of South America’s highest peak

Long Clawson amateur mountaineer pictured during his aborted attempt to climb Mount Aconcagua in Argentina EMN-170803-123548001

Long Clawson amateur mountaineer pictured during his aborted attempt to climb Mount Aconcagua in Argentina EMN-170803-123548001

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Amateur mountaineer Chris Foster came with an agonising 650 metres of completing the third leg of his challenge to climb the highest peaks on seven continents.

The 44-year-old painter and decorater, from Long Clawson, had already scaled Mount Elbrus in Russia in June 2014 and Kilimanjaro last summer, to complete the Europe and Africa legs of his incredible challenge.

But he was left disappointed after coming so close to conquering the 7,000-metre summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

He told the Melton Times: “I was turned around by the weather and exhaustion just 650 metres from the summit. “I was obviously very disappointed by the outcome given how well the expedition had been progressing.

“Discussions are already in place to make another attempt later this year.”

Chris was accompanied on the climb by fellow Long Clawson resident, Ian Beale, but he had to give up at Base Camp three, where temperatures were recorded as minus 25 at an altitude of 19,500 feet.

The duo, with their team, had already covered 87 miles on foot, including a 30-mile hike into base camp - they hired local cowboys to help carry expedition gear.

Chris, who is married to Ruth and has two daughters, said: “Ian and I were amazed by the beauty of The Andes and the hospitality of the people in Argentina.

“Ian ended his expedition at camp three, an amazing accomplishment at 69 years of age.

“We had lost two climbers a few days previously, who had to be airlifted off the mountain due to acute mountain sickness. They have made a full recovery.”

After returning to Mount Aconcagua, Chris will turn his attentions to the four remaining summits in his challenge, Mount Vinson (Antarctica), Carstentsz Pyramid (Ocenania), Denali (North America) and Everest (Asia).