This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

GPs go forth

GP raises £17k for charity after climbing seven tallest summits

A GP has raised more than £17,000 for charity after scaling the tallest peak on every continent over 11 years.

Dr David Ratcliffe, a GP from Walton-on-Thames, made his final ascent on 18 January, climbing Antarctica’s Mount Vinson last month with a wind chill approaching minus 50 degrees centigrade.

Climbing the seven summits he has ascended more than 40,000 vertical metres and raised more than £17,000 for motor neurone disease research.

Dr Ratcliffe told Pulse that the achievement began as ‘a bit of a midlife crisis’, but that the view from the top of the tallest mountain in Antarctica was worth it.

Dr David Ratcliffe on top of Antactica's tallest peak Mt. Vinson

Source: David Ratcliffe

Dr David Ratcliffe on top of Antactica’s tallest peak Mt. Vinson

He said: ‘The view from the top was spectacular. No sign of any human intervention, just ice snow and rocks to infinity - or at least to the pole.’

He added that his GP training was useful on the descent from Mount Everest: ‘I was sitting in the lodge, just ordered a yak steak when a girl next to me collapsed and started having a fit from high altitude cerebral oedema. So I had to help resuscitate her.

‘Luckily there was an expedition there, […] they had set up an aid station we were able to get her into that and revive her. And she survived and sent me a nice letter afterwards to say thank you for all the help.

‘My steak went cold though, that was the only problem. But what can you say.’

Readers' comments (3)

  • Vinci Ho

    Such noble thing(s) you have done .
    Also a good idea to get away from our messy conflict with this government in here
    Well done mate

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho sign of human intervention .....
    What a line!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well done. Another of the blessed generation of GPs over the age of 50 who do great things whilst newly qualified GPs will face the grind for 40 yrs+.
    17k doesn't sound lot when looked at it from that perspective but keep climbing anyway boys.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say