Former Shrewsbury rugby captain tackles Mont Blanc for charity

Shrewsbury Rugby Club has made it to the top of Europe.

Russell Hindmarch climbed Mont Blanc wearing his Shrewsbury Rugby Club jersey
Russell Hindmarch climbed Mont Blanc wearing his Shrewsbury Rugby Club jersey

No, the Sundorne Castle men have not won the Heineken Cup, but former Second XV captain Russ Hindmarch has scaled Mont Blanc, regarded as Europe's highest peak, while wearing a Shrewsbury Rugby Club jersey.

A former Priory School and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College student Russ, 38, a bespoke tailoring manager with Dunhill, who now lives in Highgate, London made the 15,771 ft climb with three friends and the help of two alpine guides earlier this month.

The climb took two days to reach the peak. Mont Blanc is known to have the highest fatality rate of any mountain in Europe. They started from Chamonix on Wednesday, September 9, sheltering in a hut overnight before setting out with head torches at 4am for the summit which they reached six hours later.

Other members of the party were Katherine Eastwood ,31, a marketing manager, Jonathan Payne, 57, head of global bespoke tailoring at Dunhill and Keyur Patel, 42, who works for Dolce & Gabbana. It was Keyur's idea to climb the mountain and plans had been in place since January 2019. In preparation the team scaled Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis twice over two days and Scarfell Pike in the Lake District. Further training in Scotland was hampered by the coronavirus crisis.

Russ said that conditions were perfect for the ascent.

"Unusually there was not a breath of wind when we reached the top," he said.

"If the weather had not been as favourable it would have been much harder. The views were outstanding, as far as the eye can see. We saw the Matterhorn and the Swiss and Italian Alps.

"It was an emotional moment as we arrived at the top together, four people with different abilities, ages and backgrounds. It was a once in a lifetime challenge. Although the climbing conditions were perfect it was still the hardest thing I have done and will treasure the memories."

The team did the climb in aid of the British Heart Foundation as Jonathan has a heart condition. They have so far raised £1,460.00.

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