A Wearside businessman has taken on one of the most isolated trekking trails in the world to raise vital cash for charity.
Ralph Saelzer, an experienced hiker and managing director at crane makers Leibherr in Sunderland, took on the extreme challenge of walking alone from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut – two settlements in Greenland which have nothing but wilderness for 100 miles in between.
His efforts raised over £900 for children’s charity NSPCC, an organisation close to his heart.
“My wife was supposed to come with me but she had some problem with her knees,” Ralph said.
“Even though much of the walk was just me, it is a well-established route and there were others on the trail who I usually met at lunchtime, and others going in the other direction.
“I would meet up to 15 people a day, so I wasn’t always on my own.”
The trek took Ralph nine days in extreme temperatures, ranging from 24C to -3C, and with nowhere to pick up supplies between the two settlements, he had to take everything he would need for the trek with him on his back.
He added: “Most of what I needed I carried in my pack, which weighed about 20kg – including all my food and clothes for the expedition.
“The days were quite warm, with the temperatures reaching 24C on some days, but the nights would be between 0C and -3C. “The trek was a challenge, but I usually do a big trek for the NSPCC about once a year.
“It is such a worthwhile charity that does great work in protecting children. “I have very good friends on the NSPCC Sunderland Business Board so I like to help do my bit.”
NSPCC regional fundraising manager Nihad Cehic said: “Ralph’s trek is such an unusual and inspirational way to raise much-needed funds for the NSPCC – there’s going the extra mile, and then there’s going the extra 100 miles.
“With the money and awareness Ralph has raised we can help even more children when they’re at their most vulnerable and need someone to turn to.”
To date Ralph has raised £925 for the NSPCC. To donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ralph-Saelzer4