High Roding thrillseeker scales Mont Blanc

Luke Lawrence climbing Mont Blanc.

Luke Lawrence climbing Mont Blanc. - Credit: Archant

A mountaineering enthusiast battled treacherous climbing conditions and ferocious weather to successfully scale the highest peak in western Europe.

Luke Lawrence and Simon Small climbing Mont Blanc.

Luke Lawrence and Simon Small climbing Mont Blanc. - Credit: Archant

Luke Lawrence, an IT consultant from High Roding, reached the 4,810 metre summit of Mont Blanc on August 28 with friend Simon Small.

“It has been a life goal of mine to stand on the rooftop of Europe for just over 18 years now,” said Luke.

His resolve to realise this lifelong dream came after he battled to overcome the loss of his father last year.

“Sadly, I lost my father in August 2013, who had a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. One thing that my dad taught me was that if you want something, you just have to work to make it happen.

“Although the idea to scale the mountain has been in my head for many years, I decided that the time to do it was now.”

Luke has spent the last four winters in the Alps pursuing his love for winter sports, but this year he focused on training for the formidable, and unforgiving climb. With over 100 fatalities in the area each year – many due to rock fall or avalanches – the Hoding Roding resident admitted the climb “carries a degree of risk”.

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Luke and friend Simon, who is from Chelmsford, along with guide Twid Turner, reached the summit by climbing up the Gouter Couloir, aptly named “the corridor of death” because of the number of rock fall fatalities.

Although weather conditions impeded many other expedition parties from reaching the summit, Luke’s group persevered and continued to the summit after the savage wind briefly abated to provide the expedition with a window of opportunity.

“The summit was an amazing feeling,” added Luke.