1:40pm Wednesday 7th August 2013
EX-WALES rugby international Ian Gough had to admit defeat in his attempts to scale Europe’s highest mountain.
The Cwmbran born former Osprey second-row was part of a five-strong team looking to reach the summit of Mount Elbrus in Russia last week in aid of Hire a Hero, a charity which helps former service personnel into jobs, training, housing and support.
But the team were beaten by the bad weather and forced to abort their final push for the summit during their 15-day expedition.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t do it, we had a summit attempt setting off at 1am and unfortunately the weather closed in,” explained the 64-cap second-row.
“It was perfect the day before, which gives you a respect for mountain climbing and how quickly the weather can change.”
“We were keeping up to date with the weather, that was our chance to summit and the weather got worse, we were actually in white-out conditions.”
Although disappointed, Mr Gough said the team still had good memories of a trip he described as “crazy.”
“The first big hurdle was getting three vehicles across Europe, through the Ukraine border and over the Ukrainian roads, which I think have been left back in the fifties.
“Then we had to get across the mountain pathways, which were nothing short of hair raising. Scary, that’s the only way I can describe the sheer drops we had to face just to get to base camp. Then the small task of trying to climb Europe’s highest mountain.”
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