City worker and climbing enthusiast, Hugh McGoldrick, 25, from Belfast, will put his career climb on hold to tackle a climb of a different kind as he attempts to scale The Matterhorn in aid of breast cancer charity, Pretty ‘n’ Pink.
Hugh, who works as a Business Restructuring Executive for renowned corporate, financial and professional services provider, HNH, in Belfast, set off on his journey on 9th August and will spend several days in the Alps region acclimatising to the change in altitude before beginning his summit attempt any day now.
An experienced climber, Hugh has previously spent three summer seasons in the Alps, leading groups and completing his own climbs, including a successful summit of Mt Blanc, but despite this training and experience, Hugh is aware of the challenge that lies ahead.
Hugh said: “I’ve been training for this challenge for five months but that won’t guarantee that I won’t be affected by altitude sickness. It is a huge challenge and it is risky. The exposed mountain face experiences extremely high winds, so we will have to wait for perfect weather conditions. The majority of the route is free climbing, until the final 2,000ft where fixed ropes will assist the summit bid.”
“I chose to fundraise for Pretty ‘n’ Pink because I have seen the devastating impact breast cancer has on people and their families and friends. My grandmother and two close friends sadly passed away as a result of the disease. Noleen Adair who founded the charity was also a good friend.”
One of the highest mountain peaks in the Alps mountain region the Matterhorn, which straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy, stands at over 14,000ft high.
Taking almost three days to reach the summit and return to safety, the mountain is regarded as a technically challenging climb.
Hugh has been supported in his challenge by his employer HNH, and Belfast-based businesses the Canvas Gallery and Target Dry.
Wayne Horwood, HNH Managing Director, said: “Hugh is a vital member of our team and we’re delighted to support him in this challenge.”
“As well as working full time and recently finishing his ACA accounting exams, Hugh has been dedicated to training for this immense physical challenge. Hugh always gives 100% and we have no doubt he will rise to this challenge and climb to the top.”
Hugh has already raised an impressive £6,000 for the charity but would like to add to that figure. To sponsor Hugh and support Pretty ‘n’ Pink, visit the dedicated campaign website, hughmcgoldrick.com.