Dan Widdowson of Hope 103.2 is aiming high as he heads off to Nepal, with his sights set on “the top of Mount Everest”.
Dan and The Switch presenter Laura Bennett are travelling to Nepal to promote the CBM Miracles Day appeal. They’ll present a week’s worth of breakfast shows from the city of Biratnagar, starting on Monday, August 24.
In between learning about life in Nepal and meeting with patients of the Biratnagar Eye Hospital, Dan and Laura have a lot of fun and games up their sleeve – including their famed Mount Everest Challenge.
How The Mount Everest Challenge Began
Like all good things in radio, it started out as a joke.
One cold morning in July, Dan tried to marry Laura off – on live radio – to the Youtube star Josh Hawkins. The on-air prank backfired somewhat, with Laura vowing her revenge: “getting Dan the top of Mount Everest”.
Dan, forced into a corner, seems to have embraced the challenge.
“I feel strong, I feel brave,” he boasted. “I will bring some Minties in case I get tired, and a spare pair of warm socks.”
What It Really Takes To Reach Everest’s Peak
Hope 103.2 staff have looked into the preparation required for an Everest adventure and are left wondering if Dan’s a little naiive.
For instance, famed mountaineer and former SAS soldier Bear Grylls wrote in Mud, Sweat And Tears that his climb took months, including several weeks’ acclimatisation in the foothills of the Himalayas.
“It would take us the best part of six weeks just to reach camp four, some 3,000 feet below the peak,” he wrote.
Grylls calls the mountain’s heights the “Death Zone, where humans are not meant to survive”.
“Once inside the mountain’s jaws, at this height, your body is dying,” he says. “Every hour is borrowed time. You can no longer digest food effectively and your body weakens in the thin air.”
He also told Runners World that he prepared leading up to the trip by “hill running with a daypack on and a lot of underwater swimming”.
Dan’s Surprising Level Of Confidence
When presented with this information, Dan – who will only have a day or two to achieve his goal – was unperturbed.
“Bear Grylls is not a finely tuned athlete like myself,” he said. “He’s not quite up to my standard. I’ve got a flight of stairs I walk up and down about six times every day. Did Bear Grylls do that? I don’t think so.
“I will bring some Minties in case I get tired” – Dan discusses his questionable preparation for Mount Everest
“I’ve completed two cross fit sessions, and as a world record holder, I feel pretty confident. I wish everyone could be there with me, but apparently it’s quite pointy at the top and there’s not enough room.”
He did concede that he “might need a glass of water” when he reached the summit.
Laura And Dan’s List Of Nepalese Challenges
If Dan survives Everest, he will then complete a number of other discover-Nepal challenges.
These include attempting to race a Sherpa while carrying the same load, and making local purchases speaking only the Nepali language.
Laura and Dan also plan to race each other across Biratnagar in a Rickshaw, sing Nepalese Karaoke, and try the local cuisines. Listen in to the breakfast show from Monday August 24 to see how their Nepalese challenges pan out.
Give A ‘Miracle’ To The People Of Nepal
Dan and Laura’s trip to Nepal will bring attention to Miracles Day on August 27, CBM’s annual appeal to raise funds for cataract operations in needy parts of the world such as Nepal.
These operations cost $32 each and change lives by bringing sight to some of the world’s poorest people. CBM hopes to raise enough money this year for 20,000 cataract operations.
To support the cause, go to the CBM Miracles Day Donation Page and select the Hope 103.2 station button (top right corner) when you make your donation.