THREE former Sherborne School classmates are aiming high to raise money for charity – they are climbing the Matterhorn this summer.

Ali Earp from Ansty, Bruno Skinner of Lower Zeals and Cameron Maconie from Burley are determined to reach the summit of the 14,690-feet high Matterhorn in August.



 And they hope to raise a mountainous £15,000 for the British Heart Foundation’s campaign for a new machine at Southampton Hospital. But the gruelling climb is only part of their challenge – all three admit that they don’t like heights! Ali said: “We’ve never done anything like this before which involves the level of training and preparation required.  We are well into our fitness regime, going to the gym several times a week as part of our six months’ build-up.” The training includes a climbing course on Dartmoor and another in Snowdonia as well as long treks in Dorset.

They will spend two weeks in Zermatt in August with the first week spent acclimatising and climbing two other peaks in the Alps before tackling the big one.

Ali, who now works in London as an insurance underwriter, said: “The reason for climbing the Matterhorn in particular is because it is iconic.  “The actual climb is a race against time as it is such an exposed mountain. We need to summit and be down within 12 hours – that’s why fitness is so important.”  He added: “The BHF was a clear choice for us as we have had friends and family affected by heart problems. We intend to raise £15,000 for a great cause.”

All money raised by donations and sponsorship will go straight to the charity and none to their costs in making the trip.  They have set up a page online at for sponsorship and will also set up a Facebook group.


© Blackmore Vale Magazine 26/6/13