Report by John Gibson
GLENN McCRORY has already climbed to the top of the world. Now he intends to do it again! Tyneside’s only ever world boxing champion has taken on the audacious challenge of scaling Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth.
It follows his success in reaching the summit of Africa’s highest Mount Kilimanjaro last year. “I know it sounds crazy and it probably is but I’ve never been able to resist a challenge,” McCrory told me. “This however is the biggest I’ve ever faced by far. “I was prepared for my world title bout _ I was 24, in the physical shape of my life, and doing what came naturally.
This time it’s going to take a monumental amount of training just to get me there. “Yes, boxing took me out of my comfort zone on occasions and I’m very proud of what I achieved but in lots of ways this is scary. “I dislike heights, I don’t like being cold, and I have no wish for my nose or fingers to fall off! “It’s a concern if I think about it too much but I’ve always had a fascination with Everest and when the opportunity came along I couldn’t say no. It’s the spirit of adventure I have in my soul. “Everest was first conquered only 10 years before I was born and everyone has seen the images of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay standing on the summit. It has a romance about it.” Now 54, Glenn faces a slog of a routine before he even attempts the 29,029 feet climb in April and May of next year. He did the 19,341ft of Kilimanjaro for charity last October but knows this is a different challenge altogether.
“I want to test myself and benefit other people which is why we’re raising money for kids,” he explained. This time McCrory is climbing for the Children’s Christmas Wish List charity and its founder Craig Collins explained how the epic challenge came about. “When Glenn completed Kilimanjaro he posted his video on the summit and I sent him a message saying: ‘well done, fantastic achievement, maybe Everest Base Camp next!’ “To my surprise not only did Glenn respond but told me he doesn’t do halfway on anything. If he was going to Everest he was going to the top! “He offered to take on Everest Summit Expedition for our Charity The Children’s Christmas Wish List. “After weeks of text and calls we arranged to meet up. I drove to Newcastle to have dinner with Glenn and meet him for the first time. The next morning we headed off to meet with military personnel at Catterick Garrison.
Glenn has many associates from his days training at the Catterick facility. “We had a conference call with other personnel from the Gurkha regiment and also Special Forces who have taken on Everest Summit on various occasions. “We came away from that meeting with leads and contacts to take this from considering an expedition to ‘we are actually going to do this.'” McCrory will link up with Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja, who is ex-Special Forces with serious expedition experience. Purja was the first man ever to summit Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Everest again in just 17 days as well as summiting Everest then Lhotse in 10hrs 15mins (previous record 20hrs). “What is also reassuring is that Nims single handedly rescued a trekker who was left for dead on Everest,” smiled McCrory. “He is a real life Superman!”
In August Glenn and Nirmal are heading out to take on Mount Manaslu (26,781ft, 8,163m) as part of McCrory’s training, his first experience at over 8000m which is considered essential preparation for the Everest Summit in 2020. “Manaslu in itself will provide the sternest of challenges,” said Glenn. “I did Kilimanjaro with little or no training but this is very different. We’ll have to be well prepared.” McCrory and his party will be heading to Nepal in April next year for what will be an expensive expedition. “The cost to take on the challenge is £65,000,” said Collins, “but with fundraising events and media exposure we hope to pay for the trek and make at least another £65,000 for the Sick Children we have supported for the past 10 years.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do so by getting in touch with:
Glenn McCrory is a British former professional boxer who held the IBF version of the cruiserweight world championship. He worked as a Sky commentator and pundit from 1989 until 2016 and is now involved in boxing media and boxing training.Learn more