Dublin Man Derek to Scale Another of the World’s ‘Seven Summits’ for GROW
While most of us are in the midst of New Year’s Resolutions, a Dublin father-of-three is scaling another of the world’s highest summits for GROW.
56-year-old Derek Mahon from the Naul in Co. Dublin had never climbed a mountain six years ago. In 2014, Derek became the only Southern Irish person to summit Mount Everest.
Last July, he successfully scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and now he is preparing to depart for South America to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern hemisphere and the world’s highest summit outside of the Himalayas.
Derek is undertaking the Seven Summits’ challenge in support of GROW.
“Many years ago, I sat in complete captivation watching a climbing documentary. It explained the risks, dangers, heights, altitude, cold, winds, blizzards, the climbers and their attitude challenges. It also captured their appetite for adventure and repeated 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,” he says.
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. His 2014 climb tragically coincided with the worst accident in the history of Everest mountaineering when at least 13 Sherpas were killed following an avalanche on the south side of the world’s highest peak.
Since, he summited Mount Kilimajaro in 2017 and is committed to complete the Seven Summit Challenge. He has high hopes of another summit of 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 Antartica will be his next climb, followed by Denali in Alaska and The Carstyn Pyramid in Papua New Guinea.
Aconcagua in the Andes is the second highest of the Seven Summits peaks, towering at 6,962m or 22,831 feet. It claims an average of three deaths annually. The oldest man to reach the summit was Scott Lewis in 2007 at the age of 87. The oldest woman was 65-year-old American Carol Masheter in 2012. Hazards of the climb include severe winds, extremities of cold and severe, often debilitating, altitude sickness. In the region of 3,500 climbers tackle Aconcagua each year, with only 60 percent succeeding.
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. Mental health, wellbeing and ongoing support are vital to us all. I am very proud to be promoting GROW and GROW’s message of positive mental health and recovery,” he says.
Chief Executive of GROW, Michele Kerrigan, says:
“We commend Derek and wish him every success and safe passage in his latest climbing venture. We also thank Derek for highlighting the importance of positive mental wellbeing and journeying, step-by-step, to recovery.”
To support Derek in his venture and raise funds for GROW, click here.