The former principal of Bishop Burton College is hoping to conquer one of the world’s greatest hikes just weeks before his 70th birthday.
Howard Petch, from Cherry Burton, is planning to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru to raise money for charity Compassion UK.
Mr Petch, who is flying out to Peru today, is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help support the charity, which sponsors more than one million children from deprived backgrounds across the world.
The money he raises will go towards providing funds to put gifted and talented youngsters from Peru through university and leadership development programmes.
Mr Petch, who was Principal of Bishop Burton College from 1985 to 1997, raised more than £16,000 last year for Compassion UK by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, and he is hoping to take the total to £25,000 with his latest challenge.
Mr Petch said: “It’s good to put yourself outside your comfort zone now and again. Physically, Mount Kilimanjaro was certainly outside my comfort zone.
“I also look at all the problems we have got in the world and I think the one commodity that will help the most is leadership with integrity in all spheres of society.”
Mr Petch expects the biggest challenge to be coping with the altitude during the climb. He said: “Although it’s not as high as Kilimanjaro, altitude sickness is still a risk. There are some fairly steep parts, especially for an old fella!
“What I’m looking forward to most is the camaraderie. There are 18 of us, all with a common purpose, but I don’t know any of them apart from the leader.
“There will also be an opportunity to meet the people we are sponsoring and I am really looking forward to that.”
Mr Petch will visit Compassion UK projects and spend two days acclimatising before embarking on the four-day hike to Machu Picchu.
To sponsor Mr Petch, visit the Compassion UK website and click on his profile on the Inca Trail page.