A British mountaineer is to take an Olympic medal to the top of Mt. Everest to try to fulfill a 1924 pledge after an earlier fatal attempt to reach the peak.
Kenton Cool is finally set to make good a promise made to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founding father of the modern Olympic movement.
Mr Cool, who will be setting off on his 10th Mount Everest climb in May, said he has “never been so determined to reach the summit”.
He is taking the medal, belonging to Arthur Wakefield, a medic on a 1922 expedition, on the six-week trip.
This trip setting off in May is honouring a 1922 expedition in which British adventurers, along with climbers from areas near the mountain who served as porters, made it close to the summit.
The group got to within 500 metres of the top but failed three times to complete the final stretch. Disaster struck on the way down when an avalanche killed seven Indian members of the party.
The group was presented with medals in 1924 to mark their achievement. Lieutenant Colonel Edward Strutt, the expedition’s deputy leader, vowed to return to the summit of Everest and leave one of the medals there.
“Fulfilling the pledge has become very close to my heart,” Mr Cool said.
“Honouring the British team of 1922, particularly Arthur Wakefield, and fulfilling the Olympic Games pledge in the year of London 2012 is what I have trained and climbed my whole life for.”
The Wakefield family have kept the medal safe since 1924.
As published in British Telegraph.