The summit of friendship


Jason Snell is tackling Mount Everest to raise money for friend Mitch Cleary.
Jason Snell is tackling Mount Everest to raise money for friend Mitch Cleary.

THE freezing heights of Mount Everest are a far cry from surf lifesaving volunteer Jason Snell’s usual environment on the beach at Mullaloo.

But he’s happy to trade sand for snow for a cause close to his heart.

The 50-year-old Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club volunteer left Perth on Tuesday to attempt to climb Mount Everest to raise money for his friend and fellow club member Mitch Cleary, who is living in a rehabilitation centre as he recovers from an unprovoked attack three years ago.

Snell, who covered his own travel costs, said he was fortunate and privileged to be invited to join a group.

He said Mitch would be his inspiration when the expedition gets tough.

“When I’m inevitably exhausted, freezing cold and trying with every part of my mind, body and soul to just place one foot in front of the other, I’ll think of Mitch,” he said.

“The pain and memories of my challenge, which I have willingly chosen, will fade with time but for Mitch, he will awake to a new Everest every day.”

The Cleary family is hoping to bring their 26-year-old son home this year but their house needs to be modified.

To donate, go to givematcher.com. au/moving-mountains-for-mitch.