The Longest Climb

How would you feel about defeating Mount Everest for a Good Cause?

Tom Lancaster and Jonathan Briggs feel pretty good about it. They plan on conquering the world’s tallest mountain to raise money for three separate charities and  for a shot at a world record.  On June 26th, 2010 they with be racing to climb the height of Everest, a whopping 8,848meters, at the Westway indoor climbing center in London. Okay, so they aren’t shelling out the $26,000-65,000 that it would cost to climb the actual mountain, but their cause is no less great. It is a shining example of how individuals can jump start their own fundraising event with little or no money and achieve GREAT things.

We, here at Socialize Your Cause, think this is an incredible way to raise money for Charity.  So we have selected them as our Cause of the Week! You can follow along with their training and story at their website The Longest Climb, connect with them on twitter @thelongestclimb and facebook , and watch the amazing story unfold on their Youtube Channel. Read the interview with Tom below.

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What is the longest climb all about?

We are two guys who are doing something that has never been done before. Setting a new world record. Pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible. On June 26th, 2010, Jonny Briggs and Tom Lancaster will attempt to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest by scaling a 12m wall at the westway indoor climbing centre 738 times each, whoever completes the climbs first will set a new Guinness World Record.

We’re supporting three causes through doing this, Amnesty International, Heart UK, and Mountain Rescue England and Wales, and the climb is dedicated to the memory of Tom’s friend and mentor Rupert Rosedale, the expert mountaineer who was killed in an avalanche on Ben Nevis over Christmas.

How did the whole idea come about?

I have had the idea for doing this since I was at school, being taught to climb by Rupert Rosedale, and it was his death in an avalanche on Ben Nevis on Dec. 30 2009 that made me decide it had to be done. I wanted to do something to remember him by, and when I found out that noone had ever done this before and that success would mean a new Guinness World Record, I thought there couldn’t be anything more fitting to remember such a great man and mountaineer than by dedicating the world record to him, and at the same time raise money for these three worthy causes.

What gives you the motivation to succeed in this endeavor?

The motivation to succeed is really, as above, but there is also the added factor that we are racing against each other, which adds a whole new element to the challenge. It’s not just an attempt to do something noone has ever done before, it’s an attempt to beat your mate to it. we’ll be climbing side by side on two identical walls, and one of us will come away with a Guinness World Record, while the other will only come away with just some very sore arms!

Why did you choose Amnesty International, Heart UK, and Mountain Rescue England and Wales to support?

MREW was an obvious choice given the circumstances of the attempt. They did everything they could to save Rupert and his friend and do the same selfless good work, for free, 24 hours a day and in any weather. Obesity and cholesterol is becoming an increasing problem in our easy-access, processed and pre-packaged world, with heart disease the number one killer in the western world. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the two most important factors in maintaining a healthy heart and HeartUK are the nation’s cholesterol charity, working to eliminate heart disease, so by supporting them by doing what can only be described as a herculean physical challenge we hope to spread the word about the importance of exercise. Amnesty International is a charity that I feel very strongly about personally. We are supporting the case of U Win Htein, Burmese prisoner of conscience and senior assistant to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, also held indefinitely for peaceful expression of opinion. The world is becoming an ever increasingly complicated place, and human rights abuses lurk round every corner. Amnesty encourages people to speak out against these abuses and tries to instigate change for the better, which I feel is incredibly important.

What Advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?

My advice to anyone who wants to do something amazing is simply to do it. As Mao Tse Tung famously said: “The Longest journey starts with a single step,” so amazing things can be achieved by just going for what you believe in, backing yourself to succeed even if others tell you it can’t be done. This has already been harder than anything I’ve ever done before, but it is so worth it. I feel better than I ever have done, and I know that the harder and longer I climb, the better I feel, the more I am doing to raise money for these three worthy causes. The admiration, skepticism, encouragement, indifference, and confusion expressed by people when I tell I tell them I’m climbing a 12m wall 738 times without stopping all serve to push me forward, to compel me to succeed. It’s a great feeling nd I would recommend it to anyone.

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