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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.’