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Soofia sets off on Nepal trek
An adventurous Bradford woman is tackling the trek of a lifetime to raise money for a children’s charity.
Soofia Sharif is heading to Nepal for a nine day-walk from Kathmandu to Annapurna base camp, and back.
She said she will reach a height of 4,180 metres at the base camp.
“I am very excited,” said Miss Sharif, who is a bio-medical scientist. “And a little bit nervous because you don’t know who you’re going to meet.
“It started off as a personal challenge for myself. I got into walking one-and-a-half years ago and it has spread from there really.
“The walking group I am with did a charity trek in Morocco so that inspired me to do something similar. I saw a particular trek in Nepal and I thought ‘just do it’.”
The 42-year-old, who lives in Great Horton, is doing the trek to raise money for Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity.
“I wanted to do it for something local because I am going through the process of becoming a foster carer,” said Miss Sharif. “So I thought I would look to do something for children and I thought this was the most appropriate charity I could find.
“No doubt the children I end up fostering will end up needing this charity’s services.”
Miss Sharif will fly to Nepal tomorrow and begin her trek on Wednesday.
“We will be on the go walking for nine days, up to eight hours a day,” said Miss Sharif. “I know my knees are going to give! It’s uphill, downhill and lots of rocks.”
She is going on her own, adding: “I have no idea who I will be teaming up with, but it will be a group of about six I think. Then you get Sherpas, who carry your gear. We carry our own rucksack, but get an 80-litre kit bag that they carry.”
She added: “It’s a birthday treat to myself and I thought I would combine it with some fundraising.”
Miss Sharif has been training with a walking group called AJ Walking in preparation for her challenge.
“It is based in Bradford and is a social group that do weekend walks out in the Lakes or the Yorkshire Dales,” said Miss Sharif. “They have built me up in terms of little hills and big challenging hills.
“I have covered the three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, climbed Snowdon, and done Jack’s Rake in the Lake District.
“I’ve done several hours of walking, uphill and downhill, and it has been punishing on the knees - but I am ready and raring to go.”