Ranulph Fiennes to climb four mountains for Marie Curie charity

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Image copyright Marie Curie

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to attempt to climb four mountains to complete a quest to climb the highest mountain on every continent.

If he succeeds, the explorer will become the first person to climb the highest mountains on all continents, as well as cross both polar ice caps.

He has already reached the North and South Poles and climbed the highest mountains on three continents so far.

Sir Ranulph is looking to raise a total of £20m for charity in his lifetime.

He has already raised £18m so far, of which £8.3m has been for Marie Curie.

The 72-year-old said he felt "compelled to keep setting myself these challenges to raise money for Marie Curie".

The Marie Curie charity cares for people with any terminal illness and also assists their families.

Between August 2016 and May 2017 Sir Ranulph will attempt to climb Mount Carstensz in New Guinea, Australasia, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina, South America, and finally Denali, Alaska, which is the highest peak in North America.

Image copyright Marie Curie
Image caption Sir Ranulph climbed Mount Elbrus earlier this week

Sir Ranulph has already reached the North and South Poles by crossing the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean in 1982.

In 2009 he climbed Mount Everest in Asia, reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2004 and climbed Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, earlier this week.

Sir Ranulph lost half of each of the fingers and thumb on his left hand after sustaining severe frostbite in 2000.

In May of this year he was forced to turn back from climbing Mount Denali after suffering from chronic back pain.

Image copyright Marie Curie
Image caption The explorer finally conquered Mount Everest in 2009

For this Global Reach Challenge, Sir Ranulph will have to overcome vertigo and Cheyne-Stokes, a condition which debilitates his breathing above 16,000 feet. He will also contend with extreme temperatures, unpredictable weather and altitude sickness.

He said: "After finally summiting Everest after three attempts I said I would leave any other mountains to the proper climbers… but various events changed my mind.

"Climbing four further mountains in a short space of time is going to be a definite challenge, especially climbing Denali in Alaska which only had an 18% success rate during this year's season.

"But, if it raises money for Marie Curie then I would really like to have a go."

Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie said: "Sir Ranulph has an unfailing commitment to raise money for Marie Curie and he is quite literally going to the ends of the earth and back to do so.

"His determination and ability to push himself to his limits is truly inspiring."

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