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MP battles snow to conquer volcano summit
4:24pm Thursday 12th June 2014 in News
MP Greg Mulholland on the summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador, one of the world's highest active volcanoes.
Otley's MP is feeling 'on top of the world' after battling treacherous conditions to reach the summit of one of the world's highest volcanoes.
Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) was part of a fundraising expedition team that conquered Cotopaxi, a 19,347ft active volcano in Ecuador, last Sunday, June 8.
The 12-strong Battle Back and Mountaineering APPG Cotopaxi Expedition had already reached three other summits before attempting 'the big one'.
But the snow and wind was so bad that only seven members pushed on to complete a 15 hour climb to the top - with Mr Mulholland the sole MP to make it.
He said: “After climbing Cotopaxi I was absolutely shattered and in need of a hot bath.
"The climb was very heavy going and the incessant steep slopes were gruelling - this was ultimately the toughest physical challenge I have ever done.
"I’ve since been suffering with wind burn on my face and an aching neck.
“This is the first expedition from the Battle Back Centre and it is incredible that as a team we were successful in conquering Cotopaxi.
"This is a remarkable achievement for the serving soldiers and veterans, Lyndon, Luke and Paul, who have all been through the Battle Back Centre, and it has been fascinating and humbling working with them.
“Thanks to our expedition team leader Dave Bunting, the Carnegie Great Outdoors team and our Ecuadorian Jagged Globe guides, Jaime and Diego, for planning and ultimately making this a successful expedition.
"Without their expert knowledge we wouldn’t have made it to the top.
"And thanks to all of you who have already donated and helped push us through this gruelling challenge."
Mr Mulholland joined soldiers and ex-servicemen plus two other members of the UK Parliamentary Mountaineering Group, John Mann and Tracey Couch, for the adventure.
The expedition is aiming to raise £10,000 for The Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall, Shropshire, which helps wounded and injured Armed Forces personnel.
Donations can be made by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/TRBLEcuador2014 or sending cheques, payable to The Royal British Legion, c/o Greg Mulholland MP, Wainwright House, 12 Holt Park Centre, Holt Road, Leeds, LS16
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