Thornton, 21, from Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK is no stranger to mountain climbing. To prepare for the mighty mountain, (called Sagarmatha or goddess of the sky in Nepal), the young Brit has successfully tackled Peak Lenin (23406 ft) in the Pamirs range of Kyrgyzstan, plus Mera Peak (21247 ft) and Baruntse (23684 ft), in Nepal.
Thornton's attempt on the 29,029 ft big mamma, is expected to start in mid-April and is scheduled to take 70 days. But behind every mountaineer's quest to top Everest, there is a purpose, be it personal or otherwise, and Thornton is no exception. He's doing it to raise awareness of global environment and sustainability issues, and to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
As an Ambassador of Climate Unchange, Wardour And Oxford's
social mission for fighting environmental irresponsibility, the young Brit plans to follow the south eastern route taken by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Hillary was the first man to conquer the top of Mount Everest, and he ascended the summit three days before The Queen's coronation.
Thornton's quest will raise money for the international charity Global Angels
, which provides disadvantaged children and their communities with access to safe drinking water. Sponsoring his climb is global digital services provider Yell, the parent company of Yellowbook in the US.
Yell Group Chief Executive Officer, Mike Pocock said in a press release
"Matthew is a highly motivated, entrepreneurial young man who is embarking on a lifetime challenge to highlight issues that are of fundamental importance to all of us. His spirit is one that at Yell we see as not only inspirational, but one that has immediate resonance with our values and the responsibilities we have to the wider communities in which we operate.
We are delighted to be supporting Matthew in his fantastic endeavour and his goal of helping ensure a better world."
Thornton aims to raise enough British pounds to equal Everest's height in meters, £8,848. Matthew explained on his website, Justgiving.com/MatthewDThornton
"After years of training, and a life time of dreaming, I hope to reach the top of the worlds highest mountain, and in doing so, raise money for children who are unable to access clean and safe water."
The 21-year-old has received some impressive support. The Queen has wished him "warm good wishes" and and British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, praised Thornton's maturity and inner strength. As a former squash professional and graduate in Sport and Exercise Science in environmental physiology, Thornton is in peak physical condition, but Everest's temperamental nature has tamed many a man.
The Brit acknowledges, "this is by far my biggest climbing adventure to date and will be an immense physical and mental challenge." But his passion for conservation he says, is as solid as the world's tallest mountain:
"Our planet faces some significant issues, such as lack of water in regions of the world, and the need for a much wider shared responsibility for consumption and recycling. A more responsible approach will help us protect and conserve the environment, including precious and delicate locations such as mountains, and ensure a sustainable planet."
Thornton's route will follow that of Sir Hillary's which is highlighted below in this NASA photograph:
Everest, previously known as "Peak XV", was renamed in 1865 to honor Sir George Everest, a Surveyor General of India. In Tibet, it is called Chomolungma or Qomolangma, the"Holy Mother."
According to Team Everest.org
, "the official altitude of the world's highest peak is 29,029 feet (8,848m). However, the National Geographic Society has determined the height to be 6 feet taller at 29,035 feet." The Nepali government has not yet officially declared this new height.
Shifting tectonic plates continue to push Everest upward, at a rate of 1.6 to 3.9 inches (4 to 10 centimeters) per year, where winds blow with the strength of a hurricane at 118+ miles/hour.
Everest is also the last resting place for some 120 petrified corpses, reports Mt. Everest.net
. With rescue attempts deemed too dangerous, most of the bodies are located in the "Death Zone," the area above the final base camp at 26,000 feet (8,000 meters), says How Stuff Works.com
We wish Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton the very best of luck in conquering Everest, and commend his early commitment to conservation. Matt's journey can be tracked at his forthcoming website, Matthewclimbseverest.com
. Pledge your support through Twitter
and @Yell Hashtag: #MountainMatt or Facebook.com
Let's help Matthew achieve his goal of £8,848, by donating directly to Global Angels via Just Giving (Justgiving.com/MatthewDThornton). People can also text the code MDTE90 with your amount (e.g. £10) to 70070.
Good on yer Matt and Yell Group. We hope the world supports your endeavors.