A MAN is due to fly to Nepal next week to take on a gruelling trek to raise funds for Andy's Man Club. 

Oliver Thompson will trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, and hopes to raise £1,000 for the Settle branch of the suicide prevention charity.

Oliver will be posting updates on his Facebook Page, and people can make donations on his JustGiving page at: www.justgiving.com/page/oliver-thompson-1701780794941

Special birthday at Mount Everest

If all goes to plan, he will spend his 39th birthday at the world's highest basecamp, some 5,364 metres - or 17,598ft above sea level - and at temperatures at around minus 25 degrees centigrade.

His journey will start from Manchester Airport on January 8 from where he will fly to Dubai and then onto Kathmandu where he has a two-day wait before flying to Lukla where he will start his trek on January 11.

Oliver, from Settle, is making the trek with a professional company and because it is out of season, there will be just him and his guide. He has chosen not to have the assistance of a Sherpa, which means he will have to carry all that he needs for the entire 11 days.

Temperatures are likely to be around 17c during the day, dropping to a chilly minus 25c at night.

Oliver will be staying one night in a bed and breakfast, but in wooden cabins along the route for the rest of the time.

'I've always dreamed about doing this' 

"I've always dreamed about climbing Mount Everest, and can't wait to get going; my biggest fear is altitude sickness, I am going to take altitude sickness tablets, but if you get that there is nothing you can do," he said.

He will also be carrying a 90-litre rucksack with all the clothing he will need as well as first aid essentials, food and crampons.

Oliver, who works for Dinsdale Moorland Specialist, Long Preston, recently appeared on an episode of Countryfile in a feature on peat restoration work, and is used to working outside, in all sorts of rapidly changing weather.

He has been preparing for his trek climbing in the Cairngorms, Scotland, and in other places with the help of work colleague and mountain climber, Craig Outhwaite.

'I'm a big believer in men talking more'

The charity he is raising money for, Andy's Man Club, is a place where men come together to talk about issues and problems they have faced, or are facing.

"It is a fantastic group, helping so many men out; I am a big believer in men talking more, it is something we do not do enough of, " said Oliver.