Six of the group of seven (they removed masks for the purposes of the photo).

21-08-2020Julian Aguirre

Next week, seven Majorcans will undertake the ascent of Mont Blanc. All volunteers with the charity Mallorca Sense Fam (Majorca Without Hunger), they have overcome bureaucratic obstacles because of coronavirus and will on Monday head for Geneva and then Chamonix, the base for Mont Blanc. On Thursday, they should reach the summit. For two of them - José Maria Pastor and Manuel Gil - this will be the second time that they have made the 4,810 metre climb. For the rest of the group, it will be a great experience, like others they have had because of their passion for mountains.

Reaching the summit of Mont Blanc is a very special goal for José Carlos Prieto, Xisca Népola and Carlos Álvarez, who want to highlight the work of all the charity's volunteers and supporters. Carlos Álvarez, 63, says that he started with Mallorca Sense Fam eight years ago. "We were helping 300 families. There are now some 4,400. Around 10,000 people a month receive help from Mallorca Sense Fam."

José Carlos Prieto, 54, made the summit of Kilimanjaro in February. "If the situation with the pandemic permits," he wants to tackle other mountains. Xisca Népola, 46 and an agent for an insurance company, has always loved the mountains and four years ago embarked on the "54 miles de Mallorca", the challenge of doing Majorca's 54 summits. Away from the mountains, she came second in the Balearics Paddle Surf championship in 2012.

Silvia Canudas, a 48-year-old fitness instructor, has taken part in the Dolomites Ultra Trial. It was very tough, and so she decided to give up this sort of running and concentrate on mountaineering instead. She says that she has had no special preparation for the ascent of Mont Blanc.

The cost will be up to 700 euros per person. This will include tickets, accommodation, permissions and the contents of their backpacks - mountain gear plus some sobrassada, bottles of hierbas and wine and Quely biscuits. They will be swapping temperatures in the mid-30s for ten degrees below. José Maria says that the final part of the ascent will be the toughest. The principal problem will be acclimatisation and dealing with the dizziness above 3,000 metres. For this, the excellent atmosphere within the group will be essential.

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