Cadet Halford and his Mum, Gayle, tackling the stairs for their fundraising challenge

Cadet Thomas Halford from 495 (Sutton Coldfield) Squadron Air Training Corps has got his hiking-boots on, and is in the middle of an endeavour to climb Mount Everest.

There are no ice-axes or Sherpas in sight, because he decided to do this during the lockdown period by climbing his stairs to raise money for a charity close to his family’s heart – The Platelet Society.

Tom’s grandad, David, suffered a heart attack a few years ago and needed a quadruple bypass.  Without platelet research and the drugs associated with this research, David may not be with us today.

Tom’s challenge is no mean feat as he has to climb a total of 3,094 flights (40,218 individual steps of stairs).  Not only is it a mammoth challenge but it’s also an excellent cardiovascular exercise for Tom, who has even got blisters on his toes from running up and down so often.

Mount Everest is the world’s highest peak at 29,029 above sea level.  Tom is now four weeks into the expedition.  Two weeks ago he was resting out at Base Camp, at 17,400 feet, following the West Ridge route which you can see on the map.  They have gone from strength to strength since.

Mount Everest climb route map

His mother Gayle, who is also undertaking the climb and acting as Head Sherpa said: “We’re on target to finish this month (I had an ankle injury, so that put us back a few days), but we will finish together.”

She added: “I think we will need a new carpet after.  Anyway, that’s what I will tell my husband.”

If you would like to sponsor Cadet Halford, you can donate funds video his fundraising link here:

To find out more about The Platelet Society please visit

Cadet Halford would like to thank everyone who has supported and sponsored him so far.

We wish Tom and Gayle the best of luck with their challenge!