As a pilot for Virgin Atlantic, I will be part of the three person crew operating the aircraft - but this is not what makes today special. Once I get to Japan I will be attempting to climb Mount Fuji, a volcano (extinct!) that is 12389 feet high. So after many weeks of training and walks, today is the day that I start an incredible journey.

Talking of training, the photo below is the picture I took this weekend of Jocelyn (the pretty one in the picture!) and I walking along the South Downs Way as part of my final preparation. She has been absolutely amazing in helping me with this challenge; I know I could not have got this far without her.
At the moment I am feeling excited and nervous in equal measure. 
The excitement is from the fact that I have wanted to do this climb for a while and I am very lucky to be doing this challenge for two great causes. I have seen the amazing work that Independent Age carry out through the volunteering that my partner Jocelyn does, and I feel very proud that half the money I raise will go to them. The nerves are for many, many reasons! From all of the advice I have been given I get the impression that this is going to be very tough – and I have no reason to doubt them. The effects of altitude alone will be punishing. Then there is the weather, and the forecast does not look good! On top of the many days of rain before this week, the outlook is for more heavy showers. Clearly the priority for this climb is safety, so if necessary a decision will need to be made regarding the viability of the climb. Our group leader is a veteran of the climb so I am confident the right call will be made about whether the climb goes ahead.

So, fingers crossed for us all. The next time I update this blog will be when I return back home. In the meantime you can still make donations at virginmoneygiving.com/yawsif

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