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It takes a certain kind of profound and hardnosed optimism to take a
setback and turn it into a triumph. It's the sort of optimism you'll find when
you encounter Iain Gibb, Sandy Gascoigne and their organization Moonshadow.
Iain was fresh out of school with a degree in construction management when he
faced a recession in the UK building industry. Without prospects in his chosen
trade Iain turned to mountaineering and spent six months in the Karacorrum
Himalayas of Pakistan. Further travel took him to over 70 countries in Europe,
Asia and South America before settling in Austria.
Austria brought a new phase to Iain's life. He worked in a bar, taught
English, golf and met his girlfriend Sandy. Like Iain Sandy, who was born in
Michigan and grew up in Utah, had a love of the outdoors and the mountains.
She spent summers with her family camping and hiking in the red rock canyons.
Winter and its frozen slopes provided further opportunity for adventures in
skiing and hiking.
Sandy would bring another awareness into Iain's life, one that would lead
to the founding of Moonshadow and a quest to conquer Mount Everest. Just
before leaving to spend a year in Brussels while her father was on sabbatical
Sandy's mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although the symptoms
were mild at first as the disease progressed it created greater difficulties
for Sandy's mother and had a greater impact on Sandy and her family.
Iain first got the idea of climbing Everest to raise money for Multiple
Sclerosis (as opposed to climbing it as a personal accomplishment) in 2003
from an article on Pro-Golfer Colin Montgomerie who mentioned that climbing
the world's tallest mountain for the benefit of charity was a goal of his own.
Iain optimistically fired off a letter offering to join Montgomerie's
expedition only to find that any eventual expedition would be years off, after
Montgomerie finished his playing career. The golfer was however interested in
how things went with Iain's own project.
Although not able to climb Everest with one of his favorite golfing legends
the exchange did cement in Iain's own mind just how much he wanted to climb
the mountain. After a heart-to-heart talk Sandy agreed. They would climb
Everest as part of a Multiple Sclerosis fund-raising project. And so
Moonshadow was born with the goal of raising money for MS and climbing Everest
as the vehicle.
Capable and experienced climbers Dave Pritt and Jill Pinkerton, of the
British-based Adventure Peaks climbing company, will lead Iain and Sandy's
Everest project. The expedition will kick-off from the Nepalese capital
Katmandu and is scheduled from March 29th through June 3rd. The expedition
will cross the border into Tibet and take the North-East Ridge route to the
Another of Moonshadow's supporters is best-selling self-help author Allen
Carr. Iain was impressed by the Carr's work after using one of his books to
stop smoking. Iain contacted Carr regarding the Everest Project and Moonshadow.
Carr replied that he was both proud and humbled that Iain could use the
methods in his books as motivation and inspiration for the climb. He also
wished Iain and his team the best not only in the arduous task of climbing
Everest but in the incredibly worthwhile and important act of fund-raising for
Iain and Sandy know that even under the leadership of experienced
mountaineers like Pritt and Pinkerton there will be risks on the expedition.
There will be times when they will be tired, cold and hungry but with the
support, generosity and encouragement of the people behind them, they are
optimistic. If things go well Moonshadow and its good people and good works
will find success on Everest.
Much more on their expedition in the coming weeks...
How to donate
In the United States :
Please send a US draft check, made payable to the “US National MS Society”
with written reference to the “ Nan J. Gascoigne Fund” to the following
P.O. Box 520515
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-0515
Because we are collecting funds through the US National MS Society, your
donation qualifies as tax-deductable. By specifying the “ Nan J.
Gascoigne Fund” on your check, you enable MoonShadow to maintain control
of the funds and how they will be put to good use.
To donate In Switzerland and from all other countries please e-mail us