06:22PM, Thursday 06 January 2022
A Maidenhead mum is preparing to tackle on of the world’s highest mountains to raise money for The Link Foundation and St Piran’s School.
Indira Weaver, 44, is set to tackle Mount Aconcagua in Argentina later this month, which is the highest peak in South America at 6,962m and one of the Seven Summits.
She has previously climbed Mount Kilamanjaro and Mount Elbrus, the highest peaks in Africa and Europe respectively, more than a decade ago.
In 2019, Indira completed 12 fundraisers over the course of the year to raise money for the ICU intensive care baby unit at Wexham Park Hospital and a friend living in Kazakhstan.
Indira was born in Kazakhstan, where she grew up in basic conditions. At just 14, her mother passed away.
Her background is one of her key motivations in fundraising and supporting The Link Foundation, which helps families in need across Maidenhead, Marlow and the surrounding areas.
Indira said she had become ‘very inspired by Captain Sir Thomas Moore and the spirit of the nation’ when deciding to attempt the challenge.
“I decided to support The Link Foundation as it is close to my heart – they help families who may have lost a parent or a loved one,” said Indira.
The challenge is extremely difficult, with climbers facing freezing conditions, dangerous cliff edges and a lack of oxygen at such high altitudes.
“I believe you have to do different types of activities to prepare yourself,” added Indira.
“I don’t go to the gym as such, but I do online sessions with a trainer using weights and cardio.
“I could not call myself a runner, but I do jog, and I’ve also had four sessions at an altitude centre in London.”
In the altitude chamber, the oxygen levels are remotely controlled to simulate high altitudes. Training involves around an hour on a treadmill, three-quarters of which is using oxygen levels found at 7,000m.
With Indira setting off on her self-funded three-week challenge on January 20, she is also preparing to leave her children at home without their mother for three weeks.
“I am a little bit nervous, because I’ve never left my boys for more than three nights,” she said.
“It’s three weeks, so I have to plan the school schedule, activities and my husband has to work from home more.
“I also need to do as much as I can for my husband and my children so that they’re not too stressed when I’m not here as they’re so used to me being around.”
Indira is raising money for both The Link Foundation and St Piran’s School, the latter of whom has not been able to hold its usual fundraising events since March 2020.
To view the fundraiser, click here.