A MAN who had to abandon a charity hike up one of the world’s tallest volcanoes after it began erupting has now flown out to conquer a different peak.

Ewan Ross, from Bracknell, had planned to climb up Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s second highest volcano but had to abandon the plans after it began to erupt.

Mr Ross was setting off to tackle the challenge to raise money for the ME Association after his wife, Jackie, 38, was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in her teens.

His planned hike was put off after the Cotopaxi began spewing clouds of ash 12km into the air.

Now the father-of-two is setting off on an 11-day expedition to the summit of Cayambe, which at 5,790m, is five times taller than Ben Nevis.

Speaking ahead of his flight out to Ecuador today, Friday, September 11, the 35-year-old fundraiser said: “When Cotopaxi erupted, I was determined it wouldn’t stop my fundraising.

“ME is such a cruel illness, and I see every day how much it affects Jackie. Much more research is needed.

“Cayambe hasn’t erupted since March 1786, so the chances of it going off while we are there are pretty slim. But, after what happened last time, I wouldn’t want to tempt fate by saying it could never happen.”

ME leaves sufferers with persistent fatigue, which affects everyday life and doesn’t go away with sleep or rest.

ME affects 250,000 people in the UK, of whom more than 20,000 are children.
Symptoms include muscular and joint pain, severe headaches, exhaustion after modest exercise and difficulty organising thoughts.

The cause of the illness remains a mystery and there is as yet no cure. The ME Association raises funds to support research and helps sufferers and their families.

So far the charity trekker has raised more than £700 for the charity, just shy of his £750 target.

To support the fundraising effort visit justgiving.com/ewanrosscotopaxi

Cayambe is located in the Andes, some 100km north of Cotopaxi. It is the only point on the Equator with snow cover and, having been first climbed in 1880, is now a firm favourite with mountain climbers.

The volcanic peak is the third highest in Ecuador. It’s located in the Pichincha province, some 70km northeast of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city.