Cross Country Magazine writer Matt Warren is using his time at home to raise money for charity – by climbing the height of the UK’s highest mountain using only his home staircase.
Matt, a journalist and paraglider pilot based in the south of England, is raising money for Medicins Sans Frontieres – Doctors Without Borders – and is appealing to the pilot population to help him hit his target of £1,000.
“Like all of us I’m cooped up inside all day and am bored silly,” Matt told us via WhatsApp chat. “So this is my way of having a bit of fun and raising money for a good cause.” Like everyone in the UK Matt is currently on ‘lockdown’ because of the coronavirus pandemic – and only allowed to leave the house for essentials like eggs, milk, flour or a pat of fresh butter.
Medicins Sans Frontieres is an international humanitarian organisation that works in conflict zones around the world.
Matt, who has reported from Afghanistan in a former life and is now a regular contributor to Cross Country Magazine, said: “I am climbing Ben Nevis using my own staircase for Medicins Sans Frontieres because I can, and it might help.”
Ben Nevis is the UK’s highest mountain at 1,345m. A typical ascent of the mountain starts at sea level and takes at least four hours to get to the summit. The north face is a famous winter climbing venue.
Matt’s staircase is carpeted, with 14 steps. With a top-to-bottom vertical height of 2.5m, Matt will have to climb the East London staircase at least 538 times. “I will wear slippers, not crampons, as my landlord won’t like the wear on the carpet,” he explained.
A former Daily Mail features editor and longstanding journalist Matt now works for The Conversation as an editor. He is a pilot and freelance features editor and writer for Cross Country Magazine. He has also worked on the Red Bull X-Alps as a web editor, in 2017 and 2019. He flies an Ozone M7.