Edi student scales the height of Everest on Arthur’s Seat in under 48 hours

That’s 36 times climbing up and back


Edinburgh University fourth year student, James Boyle, has successfully scaled the height of Mount Everest on Arthur's Seat in less than 48 hours.

James began his first ascend at 5am on Friday morning, and then continued hiking up and down the extinct volcano the entire day despite torrential rainfall.

Overnight, with the special permission of Holyrood Park rangers, James camped with a friend at the bottom of Arthur's Seat.

On Saturday he continued powering through until 36 climbs and 41 hours later, James had covered 8,848 meters – the height of Everest.

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An exhausted and recovering James told The Edinburgh Tab: "Today my body is absolutely broken but honestly the last two days have been the most incredible experience.

"It was easily the toughest thing I’ve put myself through physically, my knees were in a lot of pain half way into the first day, but the biggest challenge was the mental battle. Climbing down, turning around and doing it again and again was brutal.

"I owe a great deal to Benedict Willacy who was there with me on Friday morning at 4:30 to pitch the tents. He stayed at the bottom of Arthur’s Seat for the entire duration of the climbs and was a massive source of strength."

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The business management student undertook the challenge to raise money for the South African charity Sports Academy George (SAG). In January 2019 SAG built George Royal Academy, a private school for underprivileged children. The school provides both education and basic necessities, including food and clothing, to its pupils.

James told The Edinburgh Tab: "All of this was for one purpose. To change lives of young people half way across the world whose environment is not one that currently enables them to fulfil their potential.

"I know these boys and girls and know the difference the money will make – I would picture them and remind myself of their situation to keep me motivated. I am amazed at the selflessness of so many people who have been willing to partner with me on something that is far from our day to day lives in Edinburgh."

So far James has raised over £4000 and you can still donate here.

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Climb #11

Whilst the challenge was physically gruelling, being captain of the 2019 Varsity-winning Edinburgh University first rugby team definitely came in handy for James.

As did the company. James was joined by supporters for each of the 36 hikes. On the final climb, 20 friends and family members came to help him celebrate at the top with prosecco and rum and cokes.

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The final climb – #36

James said: "I genuinely can’t describe how overwhelming the support has been. I’ve had so many messages of encouragement that really were such a boost in times of need.

"I've also had the most incredible support and having someone at the bottom willing to go up with me for every leg got me through it. This was definitely something I couldn’t have done on my own."

One of James' main hype men, Mark Swan, told The Edinburgh Tab: "James should be an inspiration to us all. Last weekend he won at Murrayfield as captain of the first rugby team at Edinburgh Uni and now he’s climbed the height of Everest in less than 48 hours for a great cause.

"It’s been fantastic seeing so many people turn out to support him on his hikes – everyone has been on great form, even despite the weather!

"Despite the adverse conditions, James’ commitment to pursuing the challenge was undaunted."

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Climb #28

Another of James' supporters, Tim Constable Maxwell, said: "Hiking with James on his 10th ascent was a great experience. The weather had closed in, rain was torrential and the rocks up to the summit had become incredibly slippery. This meant holding James’ walking poles at some points, so we could scramble up and down on all fours.

"Despite the adverse conditions, James’ commitment to pursuing the challenge was undaunted."