The summit of Mount Chimborazo is the point on Earth closest to the moon.
Photo credit: David Torres Costales / @DavoTC – Creative Commons
Marta Hughes, European Investment Bank employee, and Ann Sophie Lindstrom, Luxembourg-born photographer and filmmaker, are planning an audacious fundraising expedition up Ecuador’s tallest mountain. They are still seeking sponsorship.
The climb of Mount Chimborazo this October is in support of SOS Village D'enfants Monde, an international NGO dedicated to providing alternative support networks for children who lack adequate parental care. After participating in a similar fundraising expedition up Kilimanjaro for the organisation in 2014, Marta was invited to be a board member of the SOS branch in Luxembourg. Since then, she has been eager to plan a trip of her own.
While the primary focus of this expedition is to raise money for SOS Ecuador, Marta also hopes to inspire others to step out their comfort zones and take part in challenges of a similar nature. “Fundraising is not such a big thing in Luxembourg,” she said, “and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be.”
Reaching the summit
The trip to the 6,268-meter summit, along with acclimatisation, will last approximately 6-8 days. “You climb one mountain up to a certain height, then come back down. Climb another, come back down,” explained Marta. “Once you’ve done that three times, hopefully the acclimatization will have helped you to climb the last mountain, Mount Chimborazo.”
Guiding the trip will be Juliana Garcia, president of Ecuador’s national mountaineering association. She is one of only two women in the world to hold this position, and was described by Marta as, “a truly inspiring force.” Both Marta and Ann Sophie are training for the climb, but fitness, Marta revealed, “is not the make or break.” To reach any summit, mental resilience is equally important.
Capturing the climb
Marta first got in contact with Ann Sophie after reading an article about her on Delano, and asked if she would be interested in capturing the expedition through photography and film. “The one way to inspire people is to tell a story--and I think nothing tells a story better than photography and film,” said Marta.
Ann Sophie agreed to her request. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience to get asked to do something like that,” she said. She did add however, that a corporate sponsor is still needed to fund the film and that her participation is not 100% guaranteed without the sponsorship.
In the past, Ann Sophie’s work has focused on unusual, ostracized communities, from urban horse riders in Philadelphia to punks in Hannover. For Marta, she seems the perfect fit. “She told me, ‘you do realize if I come I’m going to show the good the bad and the ugly’. I liked that idea, that people will be able to see not just the romantic side of the mountain, but get to see it all.”
As Marta plans to cover her own costs of the trip, all the money she raises via sponsorship and donations will go directly to children’s villages in Ecuador. She hopes to surpass the €10,000 she raised during her Kilimanjaro expedition and will be publishing a crowdfunding link and promotional video soon.
To stay up to date with the initiative, you can follow #Chimborazochallenge on social media. Corporations interested in sponsoring Ann Sophie’s film, or anyone who has inquiries about donating to SOS Ecuador and future challenges, can contact Marta at [email protected].