A Cambridge philosophy student conquered a Thai mountain blindfolded in tribute to his blind sister and to raise money for charity.
The 21 year old scholar climbed the treacherous Doi Suthep, near Chiang Mai, with his girlfriend, as he embarked on a three-day journey on July 11 blindfolded to fundraise for a charity that supports his sister Harriet, who was born blind.
Smith, from Moreton Pinkney, near Brackley in Northamptonshire, admitted he wanted to tear off the blindfold and witness the natural splendour around him, as he was guided up the mountain by his Eimear Pickstone, but he remained committed to the 72 hours’ blackout, only removing his blindfold to wash his face, his eyes remaining shut.
“Seeing the photos later was weird because it was so incredible. It was non-stop sleeping, eating, hiking, swimming, everything, the blindfold was on.
“The hardest part wasn’t climbing the mountain, it was having to rely on Eimear for everything – asking her for my bottle of water, or to help me find my toothpaste.
“It was really tough giving up all my independence to her, and tough for her to be so intertwined with my life for three whole days.”
Smith described the ascent up Doi Suthep as really steep and rough, through thick jungle and rain, with no clear path.
“It was quite a feeling when we got to the top, and a different experience for Eimear, too, as there were beautiful views up there. For me, it was a powerful feeling of raw achievement and relief.”
“I felt I learned a lot about my brave, strong, incredible sister and the challenges she faces, and about myself.”
So far, the blindfolded adventurer has raised £3,300 (143,000 baht) for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).
Follow more of his story here: https://www.instagram.com/blackout_blindfold/
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