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Former reporter hosts teddy bears' picnic at 18,000ft up Everest

A former Manchester Evening News reporter trekked 18,000ft for the world’s highest teddy bears’ picnic.

Simon Spinks was joined by his trusted sidekick Hugo and 33 other fund-raisers as they marched to base camp on Mount Everest as part of a seven-day expedition.

Simon is hoping to raise £18,000 – one pound for every foot of the way – for the British Heart Foundation after losing his father to a heart attack as well as highlight heart disease among children.

Their tea party had plenty of surprised onlookers as all ascents higher than base camp had been cancelled until after the Olympic Torch relay team had climbed up Everest. Some climbers had been stranded there for weeks.

  • Simon (bottom left) celebrates reaching Everest base camp with the other fund-raisers
  • Simon, (52), said: “We were exhausted by the time we arrived at base camp and the other climbers there were a bit stunned at first.

    “But they quickly put the kettle on and joined in. They even came up with some honey.

    “We even met the mayor of base camp – he’s a very famous sherpa.

    “The picnic caused quite a stir but the other climbers soon got the drift of what we were doing and joined in with the spirit of it.

    “We felt this was a fun way of highlighting heart disease in general and the plight of youngsters.

    “Everyone thinks that people with heart disease are middle aged and overweight. But it does affect children too.”

    To sponsor Simon’s efforts visit his online fund-raising page