Cardiff Blog blog

Rugby Player Takes Up A Challenge

When Richard Parks was forced to retire from professional rugby due to a shoulder injury, he didn’t sit back and do nothing – he decided to climb the world’s highest mountains instead.

The former Welsh international and Barbarian player took up a challenge to climb the world’s seven highest mountains in seven months, as well as reach the North Pole and the South Pole.

He is completing the 737 Challenge to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. He started his adventure from Cardiff Bay.

If Richard is successful, he will become the first person to stand on the continental summits and all three poles (The South Pole, The Geographic North Pole and the summit of Everest) in the same calendar year, and set a new benchmark in climbing the seven summits.

With only two mountains to go, Richard suffered frostbite in his big toe, and is now waiting for it to heal.

He said: “It’s a grade 1-2 frostbite which at first glance seems as if it will heal but with time! And not to re-expose it to high altitude or cold. I’m now hoping that the Jagged Globe team back in Sheffield can change my flight home, so I can get my toe on the road to recovery asap and hopefully in time for Denali.”

The frostbite took hold during his climb of Everest with double Olympic gold medal rower Steve Williams.

The mountains still left on the list are Denali in Alaska (also known as Mount McKinley) and Elbrus in Russia.

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