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South Norfolk climber heads for Himalayas for friend “Papa Tony” Freake

Old Buckenham, Norfolk. David Hannah who's climbing 15,000 ft in Nepal for a housing charity in memory of his friend Papa Tony Freake who's ashes are spread between Old Buckenham and Nepal

Old Buckenham, Norfolk. David Hannah who's climbing 15,000 ft in Nepal for a housing charity in memory of his friend Papa Tony Freake who's ashes are spread between Old Buckenham and Nepal

Intrepid David Hannah will climb half-way to the top of the world as an emotional tribute to a dear friend, his own challange to overcome adversity - and raise money for the county’s homeless.

The Old Buckenham father-of-two takes off in April to get to the top of a peak in the Nepalese Himalayas, which got the better of him in 2007 when he was beaten by altitude sickness.

On that occasion he accompanied his friend “Papa Tony” Freake who had made Old Buckenham his home and who he met for the first time at the village’s All Saints’ Church.

But before his death he was one of only two people in the world to be awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal to recognise all the work and fundraising he had inspired to help a Nepalese sherpa community.

When he died at the age of 72 in December 2009, half of Tony’s ashes were buried in Old Buckenham and the remainder in the Nepalese village of Phortse he had helped so much.

Now David aims to join friends and climb to the top of the Gokyo Ri summit and then descend to Phortse to visit the special statue where the ashes of his late friend lay.

David, who works for a Thetford charity which recycles bicycles, stresses that the real motive behind his 5,300-metre trek is to help raise some £2,500 to help the funds of the Norwich-based St Martin’s charity, which helps the homeless throughout the county.

He said: “Huge pressures have been put on the resources of St Martin’s in recent weeks due to the severe weather.”

He describes his trek as: “A mixture of apprehension and excitement.”

It is more of a trek than a climb but before his attempt in 2007 the only experience he had of climbing at altitude was during a visit to Peru two years earlier.

To sponsor David visit the website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidHannah1

 

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