MIDLANDS entrepreneur Kyle Raffo has conquered the Matterhorn – and three other peaks in four days to support the charity Help Us Help Others.
On August 12 the 28-year-old climbed the mountain in the Alps which stands at over 4,400 metres and is the 12th highest peak in Western Europe. The climb was initially delayed because the heatwave which hit Europe caused ice to melt and triggered dangerous rock falls.
“After weeks of preparation we were told we may not be able to tackle this challenging ascent,” Kyle said. “I love adventures and expeditions and I’ve already spent time in Everest base camp earlier this year so I had an idea of what to expect. What I didn’t anticipate was that on our first day of training in Italy, we witnessed a huge rockfall and it reminded me that this was not simply a ‘jolly’ this was a serious endeavour with risks attached.”
The Matterhorn attracts around 3,000 people a year who attempt to climb it. The first known ascent was in July 1865 and although it’s not the most difficult peak in the world, it’s a huge challenge and more than 500 people have lost their lives in the attempt.
Kyle said: “We started our ascent at 4am and the average time to climb the Matterhorn is between eight and ten hours. It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done yet I’m so glad we did it, we spurred each other on and kept each other really positive all the way to the summit.”
The entrepreneur, who is also a trained paramedic, joined father and son Darren and Jamie Lake on the climb and also adventure blogger and influencer Marta Misztal Of To Live To Travel. The team has currently raised well over £10,000 for the charity Help Us Help Others which was founded by the Lake family.
This organisation is based in Tamworth, Kyle’s home town and where Embello, his main business, is based. All monies raised help people in the community who fall between the cracks of normal provision. This means the trustees can help those in the community in crisis with aid including medical equipment, disability aids and even financial support.
Kyle said: “I’m very proud of what we achieved as a team and that many people will benefit from the money raised and we’re grateful for every penny to help those in need.”