Parkinson's fundraiser Alex Flynn scales height of Everest twice on his stairs during the coronavirus lockdown for charity
A father-of-three with Parkinson’s disease has scaled the height of Everest twice on his stairs in aid of charity.
Athlete and adventurer Alex Flynn, 48, took seven and a half days to complete the incredible challenge from his own home.
He climbed and descended his staircase more than 3,500 times, covering a distance of 42,195m (138,435ft) – the equivalent of 26.21 vertical miles or a full marathon – at his two-storey home.
Each trip up and down took Flynn 12m (39.3ft) higher, meaning that the challenge required him to complete 1,758 ascents and 1,758 descents, and around 220,000 steps.
Around halfway through the attempt he went barefoot to reduce the pain of cramps in his Achilles heel and tendonitis.
And as a result of dystonia, a symptom of Parkinson’s that causes repetitive and involuntary muscle contractions, he was also forced to guide his right leg up most of the stairs – but at no point was he allowed to use the bannister for support.
Flynn, who has to endure tremors, muscle stiffness and rigidity on a daily basis, undertook the feat to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, which is currently appealing for financial support to help sufferers during lockdown.
He is believed to be the first person in the world with Parkinson’s to attempt such a challenge.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who in 2009 became the oldest person to reach the summit of Everest, has praised Flynn for completing what as a ‘Herculean’ task.
He said: “Alex should be congratulated for completing this Herculean charity challenge, and I would urge the public to donate whatever it can to show their support.”
And Ben Fogle, who summited Everest in 2018, added: “Congratulations to Alex for completing what would have been a pretty gruelling challenge for anyone!”
The achievement has been reported in national daily newspaper Metro.