JINDALEE resident Greg Johnson will put his life on the line to raise $10,000 for Lifeline WA when he climbs Mt Everest in April.
The 40-year-old has set himself the challenge of reaching the summits of the highest mountains of each of the seven continents, and, if successful, Everest will be his fifth.
Mr Johnson said access to crisis support services was a lifeline that was as vital as the one he would need on his 900m climb to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.
“Climbing Everest is a nice analogy to that, given you are strapped to a line for the majority of the expedition,” he said.
“The Lifeline WA crisis call centre is a vital component of giving people other options to think about rather than resorting to something that is seen as the only way out.”
Lifeline WA chief executive Lorna MacGregor said the organisation provided free 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services and was grateful for the efforts of community fundraisers.
“Lifeline WA is currently undergoing an expansion of our call centre so that we can answer more calls for help, so every bit of fundraising will assist with that,” she said.
The salesman said his training was progressing well and he would complete several other challenges before departing for Nepal in March.
“Before I go, I’ll complete marathons, 5km swims, triathlons, Ironman and the Rottnest swim,” he said.
The success of Mr Johnson’s 63-day round trip from Lukla in eastern Nepal to the top of Everest will depend on the weather, oxygen levels, timing and other factors he will need to overcome.
Having moved to Perth from the UK for the outdoor lifestyle, Mr Johnson said he often trained on Jacob’s Ladder and around Lake Joondalup, wearing a 25kg weight vest.
He has already climbed summits in Africa, South America, Europe and North America, and plans to do Antarctica and Oceania’s highest peaks by the time he is 42.
“I’ve been climbing since I was about three,” he said.
“The seven summits idea came about seven years ago when my wife (Jules) and I did Kilimanjaro.”
As a father, Mr Johnson said he wanted to teach his eight-year-old son that he could do anything he put his mind to and it was good to set goals.
“He wants to climb Kilimanjaro when he is 10,” he said.
Mr Johnson said when he was in his late teens, there wasn’t a service like Lifeline to call when he needed support but luckily he had friends and his future partner Jules to turn to.
“When I perhaps find moments in day-to-day life that are tough, I know I have the resources and strength to overcome anything,” he said.
Call Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service on 13 11 14.