Hampstead man's Lapland challenge in support of his grandmother
- Credit: Coby Bull
An intrepid Hampstead man is preparing for a "gruelling" sled ride across Lapland with a pack of six huskies to raise funds for a cancer charity that helped his grandmother.
Coby Bull is flying to Sweden on April 1 and will sled to Norway despite having no experience in dog sledding.
The 28-year-old is doing it in honour of his "incredible grandmother" Daniele Bull who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017.
He has so far raised £16,000 for Chai Cancer Care, based in Hendon.
Eight years ago, while working for the family business Joel & Son Fabrics, in Church Street, Westminster, "burning the candle at both ends", he got sick and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
"I was lying there in hospital and realised working six days a week with not much of a social life wasn't going to give me a healthy life, long term," he said.
"I also thought I'd like to look back and have some great memories, so I set myself a goal to do a challenge for a different charity every year."
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Since then he has cycled from London to Paris, jumped out of an aeroplane, climbed up a frozen waterfall in Utah and swam from Alcatraz to shore in San Francisco.
"It was incredibly difficult, it was absolutely freezing and the night before, just as I was about to go to sleep, my grandmother decided to send me a video of the bay that I'd be swimming in, where there was a great white shark which had killed a sea lion."
For the next challenge he was inspired by a nature documentary on huskies, and found it was possible to cross from Sweden to Norway with a pack of dogs.
"It's approximately 300 kilometres and I'm going to have to learn to live like a Laplander," he said. "I'll be setting up my own tent at night which I will carry on the back of my sled while also tending to the dogs and myself. Everything I need I'll take with me and we'll have a guide, luckily.
"It turns out it's actually very physically demanding.
"I need to be in squat position for eight-to-nine hours a day while holding onto the sled."
"The conditions will be gruelling with temperatures reaching -20 degrees."
He said he will be packing "a little flask of whisky to keep myself warm."
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coby-lapland-by-sled