Intrepid adventurer Gary Rosewell, 33, from the UK has set himself a tall challenge to raise money for the Cambodian Children’s Fund – scaling Britain’s 3 highest mountains in 24 hours

I visited Cambodia in 2016 and following the trip started to look into way that I could do my part to support the country.

Cambodia was the third country I visited during  a five month SE Asia adventure in 2016-17. I wasn’t so comfortable in the big towns and cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap at first, but exploring the ancient history of the country was fascinating. When I finally escaped the urban areas to the countryside I found a different side to Cambodia, one that showed the genuine warmth and character of the people.

I’m originally from Somerset, South West England. Being from the countryside I always had an appreciation for the great outdoors and currently live in Wimbledon, probably one of the greenest and most countryside like areas of London.

I’d already been to Nepal so had been exposed to many of the challenges faced by less developed nations – poverty, poor infrastructure, health issues for example – but the horrific recent history of Cambodia versus it’s grand ancient history (symbolised by Angkor Wat) was really striking.

I wanted to help in some way but didn’t really know how.

I’ve grown to understand that, where possible, you have to do what you love and for me that was anything to do with sport. I’ve now spent 10 years working in the sports marketing and sponsorship industry – but now also try to explore my long-term passion for adventure travel.

When I started my adventure travel blog www.adventure176.com I considered ways of using my interest in adventure and physical challenges to raise funds for good causes.

I researched appropriate charities to support as well as challenges that would warrant the £2,500 target that I set myself.

CCF and the story of the founder (Scott Neeson) instantly resonated with my values and how I wanted to support the country, providing the educational infrastructure for Cambodians to support themselves. It also struck me as a trusted charity – one that I knew would spend funds wisely and honestly,  clearly showing the results of its work. There are a million and one charities you could support of course, but the CCF meant something to me and would benefit more from my efforts than a much longer established or bigger organisation.

I will be undertaking the National Three Peaks Challenge on 14 July. This involves hiking the three highest mountains of Scotland (Ben Nevis 1,345m/4,411ft ), England (Scafell Pike 978m/3,209ft) and Wales (Snowdon 1,085m/3,560ft) in 24 hours.

Covering a total distance of 23 miles (37 km) over a collective elevation of more than 3,000 meters (10,052ft) will be pretty grueling to say the least, but who doesn’t love a challenge! After talking about it for many years, I have finally decided to put my money where my mouth is and I am stoked to be raising funds for CCF.   

I hiked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal in 2016 and have been fortunate to explore peaks and trails from Alaska to New Zealand, Guyana, Morocco and many more. I’ve never done this much in one day however and not used it as a fundraising platform before either.

I haven’t done as much training for the Three Peaks Challenge as I should have! I play football and tennis in the week and regularly go to the gym for general fitness and swimming. That said, I need to bulk up the muscles around my knees – it’s not the going up that worries me, it’s the coming down…

 

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