St John’s Wood mountain climber reaches for summit to help war veterans

A St John’s Wood resident is about to embark on the climb of a lifetime in Yosemite National Park when he will be trying his hardest not to look down.

When he lands in California on Sunday (September 11), Elm Tree Road resident Keith Breslauer, 45, will prepare himself for four days of being suspended thousands of feet in the air.

As well as the difficult task of trying to scale the famous “Nose” route of the 3,000-foot El Capitan rock formation, Mr Breslauer and two friends will have to get used to eating, drinking and even sleeping on the edge of a soaring wall.

He said: “It’s a straight up cliff, so you do everything on the wall. We have done three months of training for the climb but we haven’t done anything this extreme.

“It’s the biggest, scariest, coolest thing you can do, but it’s safe enough that the chances of being killed are very low.”

Mr Breslauer, who was chairman of St John’s Wood Synagogue for nine years before stepping down from the role earlier this year, is embarking on the trip in a bid to raise more than �20,000 for charity.

The money raised will go towards the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, which helps marines who have suffered life-changing injuries.

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At the same time as Mr Breslauer’s American climb, a team of 30 disabled Royal Marines veterans, who have either been injured in conflict or have long-term illnesses, will embark on their own challenge when they attempt to climb Mount Snowdon in Wales.

“We really wanted to do something to help British war veterans and instead of just giving them money we thought why don’t we do something together,” said Mr Breslauer.

“The guys are hoping to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon on September 16 and we are hoping to summit El Capitan at the same time.”

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