From the Bracknell News ‘Weekender', 21 August 2015. Story by Alex Drury.
A fundraiser has seen his planned charity trek up a volcano go up in smoke after the volcano began to erupt.
Ewan Ross planned to fly to Ecuador early next month where he planned to climb Cotopaxi, the second highest mountain in the country.
The father of two said: “I genuinely thought that people were pulling my leg when they started telling me that it was on the news that Cotopaxi had erupted.
“When I saw the first reports, it sounded like it might not be too serious – a tiny volcano burp, if you can put it that way. But now the situation is looking much worse and a state of emergency has been declared.
“I’m disappointed, but that’s nothing in comparison to the disruption and fear faced by the people who live near Cotopaxi, and my thoughts go out to them.”
The 35-year-old is raising money for the ME Association Charity with the hike.
He said: “My wife suffers from ME [Myalgic Encephalopathy] so I decided to do this to support the ME Association Charity.
“The people who have it are unable to do this so I wanted to do something to help.”
Jackie, 38, his wife was diagnosed with the condition in her teens. The couple celebrated their two-year anniversary on Monday, August 17.
Mr Ross said: “I have to plan as if it's going ahead but at this point I doubt it.
“Cotopaxi is a pretty big volcano, it's 5,897 metres high. I did an Everest Base Camp trek and this is significantly higher.
“It's fairly serious, oxygen levels are 50 per cent of what they are at ground level. We need ice axes and crampons.”
He was due to fly out on Sunday, September 11 for the trip, which was scheduled to last just under two weeks. The company running the trip is assessing other mountains and sites to see if the hike may still be salvageable.
If you would like to support Ewan, please visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/ewanrosscotopaxi