Georgina Bligh-Smith is a paralegal in our insolvency and restructuring team. But, outside of work, she’s an avid hiker, spending much of her free time climbing some of the UK’s best-known mountains, racking up the miles and reaching new heights, in terms of elevation!
You can follow her climbing exploits on her Instagram page, @hikewithg_, where in the last 10 days she has posted about her greatest challenge yet – Tour du Mont Blanc. Along with her cousin, Danielle, Georgina has taken on the 170km trek, including 10,000m cumulative ascent and descent, with only one backpack and staying in mountain huts along the way.
In preparation for her epic adventure, Georgina has packed in several training hikes, including the Coledale 10 Peak Challenge in the Lake District (10 mountains, 13 miles, and 1700m elevation); Snowdon via Moel Elilio (14 miles, 1600m+ elevation); as well as a 20-mile trek in the Peak District. But nothing compares to the triumph of completing the Tour du Mont Blanc – all in aid of The Ella Dawson Foundation set up in memory of the 24-year-old who sadly passed away from a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer in July 2021.
Georgina’s 10-day journey began on 21 August at Les Houches, before arriving at the first refuge point in Auberge le Truc via Col du Tricot, with further stops in de la Balme; des Mottets (which included a well-deserved dip in fresh glacier water after tackling Tete des Nord Fours (2756m high); a celebratory Aperol Spritz at Maision Viellle, after crossing the border between France and Italy on day four; a big hike across Grand Col Ferret on day six, taking the duo out of Italy and into Switzerland; before finishing back at Les Houches after 15+ miles on 30 August.
After completing the Tour du Mont Blanc challenge, Georgina said: “This was a trip of a lifetime, not just because of the unbelievable mountain scenery throughout, but because we had the chance to connect with likeminded people from across the world on the same journey as us. Hiking six to eight hours a day for 10 days straight was tough, but the views were worth it!
“My cousin is close friends with Ella’s family, so it feels particularly special to us to have been able to raise awareness of the Foundation in the process.”
Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, added: “Huge congratulations to Georgina on completing this epic adventure! We knew Georgina had a love of hiking, but to take on such a long distance hike in the Alps is extremely impressive. It’s a fantastic achievement for a wonderful cause and Georgina should be incredibly proud of her feat.”
If you would like to donate to the Ella Dawson Foundation and support Georgina’s charity challenge, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/ella-dawson-foundaton
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