Avid hiker and entrepreneur, Andrew Patterson, fondly known as Mountain Drew, has completed 100 climbs up Table Mountain for charity.
Mr Patterson’s mission is to complete 365 climbs with his Ubuntu Climbs initiative. The project was set up on donations-based crowding platform, BackaBuddy to raise R1 million to help three non-profit organisations – Habitat for Humanity, One life for Kids and The Sunflower Fund.
Mr Patterson, who is from Sea Point, started this initiative in January 2018 and has since hiked a total of 667km, with 70km of that being vertical climbing (the equivalent of almost 19 Mount Everest climbs).
“I’ve learned how patient I am and relearning how steadfast I am when it comes to committing to something bigger than myself,” said Mr Patterson.
The “Mountain Drew” has had support from 184 climbers who have thus far accompanied him up the mountain and have also contributed generously to his BackaBuddy campaign.
A total of R159 639.78 has been raised so far with the support of over 156 donors.
Engaging with the beneficiaries of the climb has also given Mr Patterson the motivation to get up every morning and continue to do the great work while focusing on what he set out to achieve.
Mr Patterson was invited to build a house with Habitat for Humanity where he met one of the young girls who would be leaving a shack for their new home that they were building. “It gave me tremendous spirit to hear her speak and share her dreams, ideas and aspirations.”
He has, however, admitted that the journey has not always been easy. He explained that climb 26 was the toughest, as the wind was strong with gusts of up to 80km/* at the top. “Walking up in wind like that is dangerous in the sense that, once you stand tall after taking a step you can get blown off the mountain, so each step you need to remain as close to the ground as possible and pretend to be Gollum from the Lord of the Rings,” he said.
Mr Patterson would like to encourage all South Africans to donate to his project to create a positive impact on those less fortunate. By making a donation to the BackaBuddy campaign, donors will be invited to join the experience on a day of their choosing. Weather permitting, Andrew suggests a 6am early start or a late afternoon hike starting around 3pm. For more information, go to bit.ly/2HCho9l