The Governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, met with local mountaineer retired Major James Gracia yesterday ahead of his challenging attempt to reach the summit of Ama Dablam, a 6,812m-high mountain in the Himalayas.
Mr Gracia will climb the mountain in eastern Nepal next month in aid of the Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society (GADS).
“I have just had a half hour chatting with James and I am really taken aback by his courage about what he is going to do and I am also taken aback by his desire to do something to help deal with the growing mental health challenge that we have all got in life,” said the Governor.
“Put those two together and he is a fabulous Gibraltarian doing something that is very much going to help Gibraltar and I wish him all the luck.”
“I know he is going to be successful and I will be watching him carefully and I am looking forward to shaking his hand when he gets back.”
Mr Gracia updated the Chronicle on how his preparations are going.
“Everything is going well, preparations are well under way. Training is hard but getting there, a lot of uphill running with weights at the moment.”
The next stage for Mr Gracia is to pack and make sure he has all the equipment he needs for the expedition.
After that, he added, “I am pretty much ready to go.”
Mr Gracia will be leaving Gibraltar on November 8 and will meet fellow locals Mark Randall and Stephen Hermida who are currently in Nepal on MASHA (Mark and Stephen’s Himalayan Adventure).
The two men are not doing it for a cause and instead are encouraging people to support Mr Gracia’s fundraiser at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amadablamgads