A Bracknell man is waiting to hear whether his charity expedition to climb one of the world’s highest active volcanoes will go ahead after it began to erupt.
Ewan Ross, 35, plans to fly to Ecuador on September 11 to scale 5,897m (19,347ft) high Cotopaxi – around 50 kilometres from the country’s capital, Quito.
But last Friday the volcano – whose last major eruption was in 1877 – shot ash 12km into the air. The country’s president has declared a state of emergency.
It is a double blow for Ewan, a father of two, who was hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for the ME Association by completing the trek.
His wife, Jackie, 38, was diagnosed with M.E in her teens.
“I genuinely thought that people were pulling my leg when they started telling me that it was on the news that Cotopaxi had erupted,” says Ewan.
“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.”
Ewan plans to travel on a group adventure with a company called ‘Charity Challenge', who are keeping in touch with the situation on the ground.
To donate to Ewan's challenge, please visit: www.justgiving.com/ewanrosscotopaxi/