Riding to ‘top of Everest’ for charity

Dad David Bartley, left, with Michael during one of their ascents up  Alpe d'Huez.
Dad David Bartley, left, with Michael during one of their ascents up Alpe d'Huez.

A student from Calderdale who lost both grandparents to cancer has cycled the height of Mount Everest to raise money for charity.

Michael Bartley, 21, rode up Alpe d’Huez, a mountain route often used in the Tour de France, eight times in four days – a 10,226 meter climb – to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The former Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School pupil was supported on the trip by his dad David, 52, who also took on some of the climb.

Michael, from Northowram, said: “I have lost two grandparents to cancer and have an aunty who is currently going through treatment for cancer. This cause and charity which I have chosen are very close to my heart.

“The whole week was just amazing, from the scenery to the people I met on the way up it was just incredible.

“The weather also held off for most of the week, apart from the one assent where I got caught in a thunder storm for around an hour.

“Finishing all eight assents was an incredibly proud moment for me, to be able to say that I had achieved what I had set out to do and to be able to repay all the people who supported me was a great feeling.

“Big thanks to my dad who helped keep me motivated all week and to everyone else who has sent me nice messages all week.”

David said: “It went really, really well. It was an amazing experience for him and it’s phenomenal that he pulled it off.”

Michael’s initial plan was to complete the challenge on a fixed-gear bike but reconsidered during the ride.

In a blog from the mountain, he wrote: “What a day today was! So it took me two hours 10 minutes to get up this awesome climb!

“The first half of the climb was done on the fixed gear but it would seem I misjudged how hard the ride would actually be! By the time I got around the half way point my legs were shot and I was seriously struggling.

“So after a discussion with my dad, who’s been amazing with helping me get here and assisting me on the climb we decided to switch me to the carbon road bike dad had hired.”

He added: “I would like to thank all the people who have sponsored me on my just giving page especially my dad who was very helpful in setting up my bike and the planning of the trip.”

The Just Giving page has raised £720 from a target of £500. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mikeybartley to donate.