West Hampstead businessman who hates cold to trek Antarctica

Mr Raithatha on a trek in the Himalayas.

Mr Raithatha on a trek in the Himalayas. - Credit: Archant

A businessman is to trek Antartica in aid of charity - even though he hates the cold.

The view from the campsite during Mr Raithatha's trek in the Himalayas.

The view from the campsite during Mr Raithatha's trek in the Himalayas. - Credit: Archant

Sohin Raithatha will hike and mountaineer across the snow and ice for 28 hours over four days to raise money for the YMCA charity.

But Mr Raithatha, expecting temperatures of minus 15 degrees, said: “It will be very, very challenging. I hate the cold.

“My family think I’m mad. I’ve never done anything like this before,” he added.

The communications company owner, whose business has grown from his bedroom to employing 50 people, added he would find camping out under the stars each night equally as challenging.

“I hate camping. It’s the worst thing ever,” he said.

Asked why he wanted to make the trip, plucky Mr Raithatha – who last year trekked in the Himalayas to raise money for charity – said he wanted a challenge.

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“If you’re going to ask people for money, then it’s got to be a challenge. If you’re going to do a challenge, then it should be something outside your comfort zone,” the 41-year-old explained.

But Mr Raithatha has another reason why he wants to raise £3,000 for a charity supporting young people.

A few years ago his brother Shilan, who was bullied at school, died of a blood clot aged 25.

“Every penny donated will go such a long way,” he said. “Raising money for a charity that can make such a big difference to young people will be the icing on the cake,” he added.

On what he expects to find the hardest, the West Hampstead resident said he would miss his mobile phone the most..

Mr Raithatha, who is preparing himself by exercising daily and remaining tee-total “to stay focused” in the run up to the trip, has been told by the trek organisers – who lay on an armed guard during the hikes – to expect there to be be no turning back.

On February 28 Mr Raithatha will fly to Argentina before picking up a ship to make the two day crossing to Antarctica.

“Everytime I look at pictures there’s just ice,” he quipped. “I’m not entirely sure what to expect.”

But the adventurer knows one thing, that by the end of his epic journey he will be checking himself into a five star hotel for some much needed rest.

To sponsor Mr Raithatha go to justgiving.com