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Leicestershire adventurer’s trek after mountain mission abandoned

In World
May 04, 2024

An airport security officer is trekking parts of the Great Wall of China to help him recover after a failed mission in South America.

East Midlands Airport’s Michael McCorkindale is embarking on the challenge after a mission to the summit of Aconcagua was abandoned in March.

He is walking along five different sections of the historic landmark, stopping to repair areas of the wall.

The 36-year-old said the trip will allow him to “rebuild history”.

Known as the airport’s “resident action man”, Mr McCorkindale started climbing Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, during a heatwave in February.

Once on the peak, known as the Mountain of Death, he faced a combination of avalanches, mudslides and a storm.

The former soldier was also injured by a trekker’s crampon, a traction device attached to footwear, as he stopped him slipping.

Mr McCorkindale, from Anstey in Leicestershire, is now setting off to take on his latest challenge, which he said will help him recover mentally from his trip to Argentina.

“Aconcagua was such an extraordinary expedition that I feel like I needed something to do straight away, to be able to mentally get over everything that happened,” he said.

“That’s why I put this expedition on within five days of returning.

“It’s like that old saying, if you fall off a horse get straight back on, otherwise you’ll never get back on it again.”

The extreme adventure enthusiast is flying out to China on Saturday, before meeting a group of strangers who he will partner on the trek.

They will trek for about nine to 12 hours a day between different towers along the wall.

Mr McCorkindale said he will plan his biggest challenge yet after returning from China.

“I see it as kind of a pit stop between challenges,” he said.

“After this I want to go just absolutely extreme – just find the most most demanding challenge out there and see where it takes me.”

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