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  • Northside West

He’s summit else!

Wednesday, 10th January, 2018 8:00am
He’s summit else!

Derek pictured during his assent of Mount Everest.

He’s summit else!

Derek pictured during his assent of Mount Everest.

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WHILE most of us are already struggling with New Year resolutions, a local dad-of-three is making his dreams a reality by scaling yet another of the world’s seven highest summits.

Derek Mahon from the Naul in Co Dublin became the first Dubliner to summit Mount Everest.

Last July, the 56-year-old scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and he’s also climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia and Mont Blanc in The Alps.

This Friday, Derek departs for South America to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, and the world's highest summit outside of the Himalayas.

This will be the fourth mountain in his Seven Summit challenge and it’s a daunting task.
Towering at 6,962 metres or 22,831 feet Aconcagua claims an average of three deaths annually. Hazards include severe winds, extremities of cold and severe, often debilitating, altitude sickness.

Derek is undertaking the global Seven Summits challenge in support of the community-based mental health charity, GROW, which promotes positive mental health and recovery.

And his mission started while watching a climbing documentary on TV.

“It highlighted the risks, dangers, heights, cold, winds, blizzards, the climbers and their attitude challenges,” Derek explained.

“It also captured their appetite for adventure despite Mother Nature and the mountains’ challenges.

“What struck me were the rewards after effort, the satisfaction of the summit, the real emotion of returning safely to base camp and the elation of returning home to your family.”

Derek, who works as a Financial Advisor at Tara Financial Partners, is a sports enthusiast. In 2011, he had never climbed a ‘big’ mountain and having summited Mount Elbrus in 2012 and Mont Blanc in 2013, he successfully scaled Mount Everest in 2014.

Since then, he summited Mount Kilimajaro in 2017 and is committed to complete the Seven Summit Challenge. He has high hopes of conquering Aconcagua which he acknowledges is “in the hands of Mother Nature and the Mountain Gods” but in doing so Derek will have completed four of the Seven Summits.

Vinson in Antarctica will be his next climb, followed by Denali in Alaska and The Carstyn Pyramid in Papua New Guinea.

Speaking about climbing in support of GROW and positive mental health, Derek highlights how GROW implements a 12-step programme, helping people to journey to mental health recovery.

“GROW is all about breaking isolation, fostering social connection, shared experience and weekly support meetings based on practical steps and recovery,” he said.

“Mental health, wellbeing and ongoing support are vital to us all. I am very proud to be promoting GROW and its message of positive mental health and recovery.”

Chief Executive of GROW, Michele Kerrigan, commended Derek and wished him success and safe passage in his climbing venture.

“We also thank Derek for highlighting positive mental wellbeing and journeying, step-by-step, to recovery,” she added.

 GROW holds over 120 free peer-support meetings across Ireland each week, along with education, and young adult programmes.   

To support Derek, visit the Everydayhero.ie website and search for Derek Mahon. Details can also be found on the GROW website at www.grow.ie and the @GROWIreland Facebook page.

 

TOP OF THE WORLD: Derek is determined to achieve his seven summit goal.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here