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22nd November 2018
Heating engineer Steve Graham will today embark on an epic expedition to the coldest place on the planet just months after conquering Everest, aided by the support of Darlington Building Society.
The self-employed Darlington father-of-two Steve will take off on a 14 and a half hour flight from Heathrow to Chile’s capital, Santiago, on the first leg of his journey.
From Santiago, he will travel to the southern tip of Chile for a preparation day and then fly to Antarctica on a Russian cargo plane, landing on an Antarctic runway of natural blue ice amid temperatures as low as -30.
In May, Steve became the only Darlington man to climb Mount Everest, raising more than £15,000 for local and national charities, including St Teresa’s Hospice and Prostate Cancer UK.
He will be supporting those causes again as he climbs another of the world’s most challenging mountains, Mount Vinson. Alongside the Society, he is also being supported by JT Atkinson Building Supplies, Anthony Jones Properties and Videcon. He will plant a flag at the top of the mountain, bearing the logos of his charities and companies supporting him.
On the eve of his expedition yesterday, he called in at St Teresa’s in Darlington to be presented with an “Excellent Supporter – Worldwide Fundraising Award” by hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw.
Jane said: “Steve’s achievements are amazing and yet he is so unassuming. He stands a million feet tall in my eyes and we are so grateful for all his support.”
Steve said: “I just hope I inspire others and can continue to raise as much money as I can for some fantastic charities. All being well, I’m due to complete the expedition on December 10th so I look forward to being home for Christmas.”
Caroline Darnbrook, Marketing Director of Darlington Building Society, said: “Steve is a credit to himself, his family, Darlington and the whole North-East. We are proud to be supporting Steve in his latest expedition and look forward to exploring ways to work with him in the future.”
The adventurer’s nickname is “Seven Summit Steve” because his ambition is to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. Mount Vinson, which stands at 16,000 feet, will be the sixth, leaving just the Cartenz Pyramid, in Papua, for him to conquer.