A political consultant swapped the Houses of Parliament for the highest mountain outside the Himalayas to raise money for a homeless charity.
Patrick Cusworth, of Clarence Road, Chiswick, has just returned from an almighty journey where he climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina in a bid to raise £1,500 for The Passage - a London-based charity which helps homeless people in Victoria by providing basic care and the means to make a fresh start.
It took 14 days to climb to the summit of the 6,962 metre high mountain and another three days to come down but the 34-year-old managed to return with all limbs in tact.
He also had to battle with news of a climber who had died the day before Patrick and his small team reached the same camp and another climber being airlifted off the mountain.
Patrick has been involved with Passage since 2010, through his church, Westminster Cathedral, and volunteers at their centre once a month but decided he wanted to do something that was a little more unusual to raise money for them.
“It’s always been an ambition of mine to do the seven summits, which are the highest mountains in each of the seven continents,” he said. “I’d already done Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa but it’s always been a dream to do Aconcagua.
“It was definitely tougher than Kili but I was so thrilled to get to the top. It’s absolutely amazing being at the summit but getting there was hard. As the air got thinner everything was difficult. Even brushing my teeth, I had to stop half way through because I was so exhausted.
“When we got to the second highest camp before climbing up the Canaleta, which is the last stretch before the summit, we heard that a man had died the day before, just 500 metres before the top. That was quite difficult, knowing I was going to be climbing that exact same section, but we all knew the risks before we started. We also had a great guide which was comforting.”
Patrick is now hoping to add North America’s highest mountain, Mount McKinley, in Alaska, to his list.
He added: “I really hope people will be motivated to donate more for the work The Passage does than for my climb, it would be absolutely superb - it would be a second summit.”
Patrick is currently on £695, to help him reach his target of £1,500 go to his Just Giving page.