Third time lucky for Alex?

The mountains are calling – again for Kelsall’s finest explorer Alex Staniforth

After twice being thwarted in his bid to climb Mt Everest, Alex has set off once more for the Himalayas in his bid to climb one of the world’s highest peaks.
He is in the middle of a seven-week expedition to Tibet with the aim of climbing Cho Oyu at 8,201 metres (26,906 feet) high, with the 360 Expeditions team.

Alex said: “My next step is to turn that goal into an achievement. I’m aware that most people don’t know what Cho Oyu is and assume it to be something from Star Trek.

“Obviously this is no package holiday. It’s a similar process and challenge to Everest – to be fair, it’s only 600m lower…we will be climbing via the north west face and north west ridge, with advanced Base Camp at 5,700m altitude. Cho Oyu is not a technically difficult mountain and the majority of terrain does not exceed 30 degrees besides a very steep serac barrier at 6,600m.”

This climb will support YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people.

Alex added: “Having suffered depression and other mental health problems myself, let this trip be more than just an opportunity to inspire others and raise funds but a chance to end stigma; show other young people, or of any age, that mental health problems should be no barrier to achieving your potential. I want to help develop Young Minds’ hub in the North region – £30,000 could fund at least 30 open access training days on topics like resilience or self-harm, for example.”

You can support the fund raising by visiting the Just Giving site at

Despite the two disappointments on Everest, Alex is determined to make it third time lucky – weather and earthquakes permitting!. He added: “Once again I keep getting told; “you’re going to do it!”. They said the same last year – it’s often about waiting for the stars to align and having fun in the meantime. My mantra is to take it one day at a time. There’s no point worrying about things we can’t change. Eighteen months later, I’m excited to explore a new part of the Himalayas I haven’t visited. Can’t wait to get back out and remind myself why I started this journey six years ago. Sure, I’m nervous, and something would be wrong if I wasn’t…Onwards and (slowly) upwards!”