Record breaking climb bid for Nigel

A Belper mountaineer is set to accompany a climber with cerebral palsy on a record breaking ascent of the highest mountain in Europe.

Nigel Vardy will be accompanying Dave Padgen, from Ilkeston, as he attempts to summit the North Face of Mount Elbrus in Russia on a ten-day expedition.

The pair set off on August 17, with Gavin Bate, of Adventure Alternative, and hope to make it all the way to the top and back down by August 28.

Nigel said: “Initially I met Dave at a dinner held for Kinder Mountain Rescue Team where we were guests of honour. We kept in touch and learned about each other. He told me about his plans to asccend Elbrus and it sounded very exciting. I asked him if he fancied a bit of company and he said yes.

“He’s a fantastic chap, thoroughly motivated. I believe in this guy. I work with a lot of people who need a kick up the backside – they moan about things.

“I say, ‘You’ve got a guy with cerebral palsy and he is an example.

“Please stop moaning and get on with your life.’ He’s always enjoying his life!”

Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano in the western Caucasus mountain range, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia, Russia, near the border of Georgia.

It stands 12 miles north of the Greater Caucasus mountain range and its permanent icecap feeds 22 glaciers, which in turn give rise to the Baksan, Kuban, and Malka rivers.

Renowned mountaineer Nigel is also a speaker and author and lives on Far Laund in Belper.

In 1999, he suffered severe frostbite while climbing on Mt McKinley in Alaska, which led to the full amputation of the toes on both of his feet and the tops of his fingertips.

Nigel is the first British mountaineer to climb the seven highest mountains on the seven largest islands in the world, along with countless other expeditions to the greater ranges.

He has written two books about his adventures and regularly presents to businesses and schools across the UK and Europe.

Dave has previous attempted to climb Elbrus, in 2010, where he and his team reached 500 metres below the summit before the climb had to be aborted due to bad weather.

Dave, a former Paralympic athlete who represented his country in the Barcelona and Atlanta Games, now works as National Disability Sport Officer for British Universities and Colleges Sport.

Nigel added: “Dave is no stranger to climbing up the odd mountain or two.

“In 2008 Dave climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa and made it to the summit within six days.”

And in 2004 Dave took on the National Three Peak Challenge, which sees challengers climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon with an objective to complete the climbs within 24 hours - unfortunately Dave just missed out by 55 minutes.

Nigel said: “Dave can often be seen out with his dog ‘Pike’ walking in the Peak District, Lake District and Snowdonia, or around Ilkeston in Derbyshire where he lives. So if you see him, he is probably training for Elbrus!”