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John Robson

Climbing Annapurna IV 7525m - 24,600ft

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]"Mountains are a metaphor of Life' and six years ago I started to climb my most difficult mountain! In 2013 I was advised I would never climb or run again. I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatic (PMR) which is an auto-immune chronic condition resulting in inflammation of the arteries in the joints, severe debilitating pains in my upper body and hips, fatigue and 3st weight loss. For several months I was bed bound or confined to a wheelchair, couldn't lift my arms to operate a light switch and found it extremely difficult to perform simple tasks. I commenced a 21 month steroid reduction programme, attended a rehabilitation centre, and used hydrotherapy and physiotherapy to start to regain my health and fitness over the next 2 years. I've experienced a few flare-ups and I'm now in remission with Polymyalgia Rheumatica, taught myself to run again (barefoot) and started to climb high mountains.[/p][p]When I was diagnosed with PMR I was a 51 year old extremely fit Fire Officer running up to 60 miles per week, marathon runner, high altitude mountaineer, founder member of Fire & Ice Expeditions and charity fundraiser. We had already climbed some of the world's highest mountains, delivered hundred's of inspirational and motivational presentations, and donated around £140,000 to charities, especially children's charities. In 2013 my plan was to climb Ama Dablam, run my 5th London Marathon and 15th Great North Run. Following my 5th knee operation in the March I just felt fatigued, couldn't lift my arms, I had chronic pains in my shoulders and hips ... and I put everything on hold to let my body to recover. [/p][p]I've the PMRGCAuk North East coordinator and to raise awareness of Polymyalgia Rheumatica I've done many challenge events like completing my 15th UK 3 Peaks Challenge, 9/11 Tunnel to Towers in New York, Great North Runs, over 225 parkruns etc etc. [/p][p]Attempting to climb Annapurna IV (7525m) is the Ultimate Challenge as it's one of the world's highest, remotest, coldest and most dangerous mountains. This is no simple expedition due to the volatility of the weather and the high altitude environment. To climb Annapurna IV demands the highest physical fitness and strong mental attitude. [/p][p]Please help me raise awareness and support my Ultimate Challenge. [i]"Invenium vium aut facium" ... [/i]I'll find a way, or make a way :-)[/p][p][b][u]Training[/u][/b][/p][p]Both the physical and mental training is going very well, and I'm probably fitter now than I've been for over 6 years before my PMR. I've completed several heavy (15kg - 20kg) pack days in the Lake District, Pennines and the Cheviots plus every day walking in local Houghall and Shincliffe Woods in and around Durham. Weight training has developed and my muscle tone has returned. [/p][p][b][u]Photographs[/u][/b][/p][p]The photographs show the route n Annapurna with our Base Camp plus high camps 1, 2, 3 and 4 prior to heading for the summit. [/p][p]Final photograph shows all the gear to be packed for going to a high 7525m peak![/p][p][u]Updates[/u][/p][p]Due to the remoteness and weather conditions updates will be infrequent. Please visit the following link - [/p][p][url=https://www.adventurepeaks.com/annapurna-iv-expedition-5th-october-2019/]https://www.adventurepeaks.com/annapurna-iv-expedition-5th-october-2019/[/url][/p][p][b][u]Summary[/u][/b][/p][p]We’ve just returned from the high Himalaya in Nepal. We’ve had a truly memorable epic adventure which had everything you would expect from a high altitude expedition from massive vertical 12m Ice Walls at 6,500m, vertical mixed rock and ice climbing between Base Camp and High Camp 1, wind slab avalanches on the summit ridge and waist deep snow which hindered progress towards the summit at 7525m.[/p][p]As we were the only team on Annapurna IV it added to the remoteness and the hard work of the Sherpa’s. We spent 28 days on the mountain completing several rotations up and down to Camp 3 to assist acclimatisation and fix lines. However, we could not establish Camp 4 (at around 6,800m) due to the severe weather conditions, deep snow and the wind slab which was prone to avalanche on the summit ridge.[/p][p]Due to the physical involvement and living at high altitude for four weeks I lost 6kg but gained so many wonderful memories in a beautiful environment.[/p][p]Although we didn't summit it was very humbling to know that I had so much support and people were following our expedition. It has been an epic adventure ... and we are already planning our 2020 Expedition :-)[/p]
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 1
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 2
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 3
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 4
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 5
Climbing Annapurna IV  7525m - 24,600ft image 6

Share John's story


Personal Challenge Date

30 Oct 2019



Nov 12, 2019

Paul wilkinson

Fantastic john, well done

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Oct 31, 2019


Brilliant. Well done. Definitely worth another donation . There is still £40 showing on your other page by the way.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Oct 6, 2019

Cross-stitcher from PMRuk

You are an inspiration to us all. I wish you all the best. Thank you for showing that a PMR diagnosis is not the end of hope and ambition.


Oct 4, 2019


Good luck and well done for getting as far as you have in your recovery


Oct 4, 2019



Oct 3, 2019

Linda Chapman

What an inspiration to those of us living with PMR. You will be in my thoughts. Looking forward to hearing the progress reports when possible. Stay safe.


Sep 30, 2019

HT from PMRGCAuk

Best of luck.

£75.00 plus £18.75 Gift Aid

Sep 28, 2019

Sue aka Rugger

£495 so far John. Glad to have helped you hit your target!

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Sep 28, 2019


All the very best. Be strong and be happy. Enjoy!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 28, 2019


Good luck

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid