Inspirational fundraiser Vincent McGuire has successfully tackled a daunting trek to Everest Base Camp (and back again!) raising an incredible £3,500 for his chosen charities Support in Mind Scotland and Strathcarron Hospice.

The expedition spanned 17 days in total, including 12 days of trekking, beginning in Kathmandu and taking Vincent along the Nepalese Himalayas, where some of the world's most breathtaking scenery can be found.

Vincent, from Larbert, was kind enough to answer some questions about the trip, and his reasons for choosing to fundraise for Support in Mind Scotland.

What made you choose this particular challenge?

I have always had Everest on my bucket list and hope one day to make it to the top as it costs about $50k so need to start saving!

How long did it take and were there any especially problematic sections to navigate?

It took 7 days for the ascent to base camp and 5 days to descend. The challenging part was the lack of oxygen the closer we got to base camp, I believe base camp has 50% less oxygen than at sea level so it was physically demanding.  There was also some difficult terrain trekking over some of the glaciers as lots of rocks to navigate.  One of my travel buddies ended up spraining his knee causing severe pain.

Did you have to do any special training in preparation?

I am already fit and train a lot so the only thing I needed to do was break in my new walking boots and it turned out to be good preparation as I had no blisters or feet issues.

What were the highlights of the trek? 

The highlight was when we arrived at The Mount Everest View Hotel as that was our first glimpse of Mount Everest in all its glory.  It was also very cool climbing Kala Patthar as this is 1000ft highr than base camp, it was 18500ft.

Why you choose to fundraise for Support in Mind Scotland?

I have some friends and family that have mental health issues and I am also concerned about the PTSD our troops have.  I also have a very close friend in Coventry, Anthony Somers who is a counsellor that has volunteered with MIND.

Any challenge plans/ambitions for the future?

I have booked up for an Arctic Half Marathon in Northern Norway on Jan 5th 2019, it will be extremely cold and dark and I may get the chance to see the Northern Lights.  I am also looking to do a Half Ironman 70.3 distance in the summer of 2019.

SiMS Community Partnership Fundraising Officer Iain Mitchell: "Congratulations to Vincent for completing this arduous challenge, and a massive thank you to him for raising vital funds for Support in Mind. Fundraisers are the lifeblood of Support in Mind Scotland and their efforts enable us to continue providing vital mental health services across the country."

If you'd like to fundraise for us, please feel free to get in touch with our Fundraising team on 0131 662 4359 or by emailing [email protected] 

And don't forget, our 100 Streets Challenge is now open! Already we've had sign-ups from Alness, Blairgowrie, Broughty Ferry, Bute, Carnoustie, Crieff, Dumfries, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Langholm, Lochmaben, Penicuik, Perth, Monifeith and Stonehaven, making it a truly nationwide challenge. Plan your own route, choose your own day(s) then walk, run or cycle 100 streets for Support in Mind Scotland and Mental Health awareness.