A mountain to climb in the name of charity

Quadruple amputee, Corinne Hutton, is using an environmental chamber at UWS to prepare for a trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro

University of the West of Scotland Honorary Doctor, Corinne Hutton, is using UWS Lanarkshire’s new environmental chamber to prepare for an 11-day hike to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The venture will see her raise money to help reduce social isolation for amputees.

The Great Scot award winner and founder of the Finding Your Feet charity – who lost both her hands and legs below the knee after suffering from acute pneumonia and septicaemia – will use the cutting-edge facility at the University’s new £110 million Lanarkshire campus to test physical fitness and inform the final few weeks of altitude training.

Corinne will begin her 90km trip in Tanzania on September 29 and aims to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on October 6.

UWS’ environmental chamber is one of only two in Scotland, and the only one in the west of the country. It replicates environmental extremes, from walking in the desert to standing on one of the world’s highest mountains, and can be used by athletes to improve physical performance in the run up to large sporting events.

The chamber enables UWS to forge research partnerships and collaborations within industry and academia. Businesses and the public will also be able to access it and take part in altitude training sessions.

“Following an infection in 2017 I had the majority of one of my lungs removed, so dealing with the altitude on Kilimanjaro has been a worry for both me and my family.”

The chamber controls a number of variables to create extreme conditions, including altitude changes from 0 to 5,000 metres above sea level, and humidity from 10 to 90 per cent.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “Corinne Hutton is an inspiration to many of us, and it’s truly amazing that she’s going to climb Africa’s tallest mountain for her charity, Finding Your Feet.

“We will be supporting her all the way, and we hope that our environmental chamber will help her prepare for the challenge ahead. From students and staff at UWS, we wish Corinne the best of luck.”

Corinne Hutton said: “Following an infection in 2017 I had the majority of one of my lungs removed, so dealing with the altitude on Kilimanjaro has been a worry for both me and my family. The fact that UWS can offer this state-of-the-art facility to help me get an understanding of how I’ll deal with the conditions is just incredible.

“UWS have been great supporters of Finding Your Feet, and I’m delighted they can be a part of my trek up the mountain. I’m honoured to be an ambassador for them and delighted that they’re so helpful in our goal of reducing isolation within the amputee community, and helping those who have been through limb loss to realise their full potential.”

To donate to Corinne’s challenge, click here.