Retired professor makes virtual Everest climb in aid of Bristol Old Vic

Prof Ian Sutherland plans to climb the height of Everest to raise money in memory of his late wife. Credit: Ian Sutherland

A 74-year-old retired professor has set himself the task of climbing the height of Everest to raise money for Bristol Old Vic.

Ian Sutherland - who was based at Brunel University - is climbing in memory of his wife Rosamund, herself a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Bristol. She passed away at the beginning of 2019 and held Bristol Old Vic close to her heart.

Ian's late wife Rosamund loved Bristol Old Vic. Credit: Ian Sutherland

Ian says, "My wife Rosamund and I both loved attending Bristol Old Vic performances and I know she’d think this is the sort of mad thing I would do.  

"As a supporter of the theatre, I have got to know both the staff and the actors and my interest in what they are trying to achieve has grown. I am now committed to raise a significant amount of money for them to help them through this Covid-19 crisis."

Ian Sutherland wants to help the Bristol Old Vic survive the coronavirus crisis. Credit: ITV West Country

Despite losing 75% of their income, throughout lockdown Bristol Old Vic has continued to support local artists and emerging talent and is continuing to provide paid opportunities for artists.

Ian is scaling 24,432 ft from Katmandu to the peak of Everest by climbing from the basement to the roof of his house 573 times over ten days, starting on Monday 21 September.

Ian hopes to raise the height of Everest in metres - £8,850 - or preferably in feet - £29,032. Credit: PA

The retired professor says, "As I reach the age of 75 this December, this is the closest I’ll get to climbing Everest, which I’ve always wanted to try since 2006, when my son Andrew climbed as part of the EverestMax Expedition.

"He's even leant me his climbing suit, tent and Tibetan prayer flags. At least I don’t have to worry about altitude sickness!"

Ian will be using the tent that his son Andrew had when he scaled Everest for real in 2006. Credit: Ian Sutherland

Ian will camping out on the roof terrace of his Clifton home, using the very tent that his son Andrew used when he scaled Mount Everest for real in 2006.

He is aiming to raise the height of Everest in pounds sterling for the Bristol Old Vic - either the height in metres - £8,850 or hopefully its height in feet - £29,032.

Follow Ian's campaign on his fundraising page, here.