Sunderland IT consultant ready for Arctic cancer trek

Phil Raisbeck at Ben Dorain.
Phil Raisbeck at Ben Dorain.
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IT consultant Phil Raisbeck will be swapping his desktop for a week in the Arctic tundra.

With temperatures falling as low as -30°C, Phil, from Ryhope, will be attempting to cross the gruelling Fjällräven Polar in a bid to raise funds for Cancer Research.

The Wearside adventurer is one of 20 people from across the world, with just one other from the UK, taking part in the six-day trip next week.

Using dog sleds he will follow a 180-mile route from Signaldale in Norway to Jukkasjärvi in Sweden.

For this trek Phil has been physically preparing at the University of Sunderland’s £8.5million Sciences Complex, where the students have been helping him train.

What makes the 42-year-old’s expedition even more remarkable, is he had barely set foot on a mountain until two years ago when he joined a 250km trek through the French Pyrenees.

He has not looked back since and now spends most weekends in the Lake District and is making his way through the 282 Munro Mountains in Scotland.

Throughout the event Phil will be charged with looking after six Alaskan Huskies and the Northern Lights will be on full show at night as he relaxes after a long day trekking.

He said: “The students gave me a seven-week training plan to help me get in shape because it’s going to be very tough once I’m out there, with very long days. I’ve got the results of the fitness training and it’s paid massive dividends.

“I’ve not been this fit for 20 years. I’ve noticed the dramatic difference in my fitness in everyday life. I just can’t wait to get out there now and prove to myself that I can do it.”

The trek is organised by Swedish outdoor equipment company Fjällräven and has been an annual event since 1997.

Phil managed to become one of the two participants from the UK after winning a public vote via social media, local news sites, radio interviews and celebrity tweets from Alan Hinkes, the first Briton to have climbed all 14 of the world’s mountains over 8000m high.

Phil is raising money for Cancer Research UK and donations can still be made via his charity website.