A Northern Ireland man has raised more than £12,000 for a good cause by completing a gruelling mountain trek in South America in memory of his brother, who died after being assaulted outside a Belfast nightclub 10 years ago.
Adam Montgomery, whose older brother Aaron was killed in an unprovoked one-punch attack in February 2008, recently completed a gruelling five-day trek through the mountains of Peru with the aim of raising £10,000 for Helping Hand – the charity that provides equipment and research funding to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
He was joined on the trek to Machu Picchu – the ancient Inca citadel – by his good friend Greg McCormick, from Maghaberry.
Explaining why he wanted to complete the trek to mark 10 years since his brother’s tragic death, Adam said: “I am a keen traveller, and when Aaron died I promised myself that I would see as much of this world as I can, because Aaron never got the chance to see very much of it. As I have always wanted to see Machu Picchu, I thought that a charity trek would be a chance to do so, for a worthwhile cause.”
Last month 31-year-old Adam and Greg, 30, made the 28-hour trip from Belfast to Cusco in the Andes region of Peru, travelling via London and Bogota in Colombia.
They walked for several hours each day for five days across mountainous and sometimes dangerous terrain, finally reaching their destination by October 12, which would have been Aaron’s 34th birthday.
On reaching Machu Picchu the pair stopped to survey the incredible landscape and raise a toast to Aaron with two miniature bottles of whiskey they’d taken with them in their backpacks.
“It was amazing,” Adam explained. “The trek was difficult but extremely rewarding and it was such an amazing experience.
“The altitude was the hardest thing. When we got there at first we were out of breath even walking up the stairs in the hotel.
“Because of the altitude and the effect it had on us the pace was very, very slow, but we just kept going and managed to get there.”
Through their efforts, Adam and Greg raised the incredible sum of £12,500 for Helping Hand – money they recently handed over to the charity.
“I am delighted that we smashed our £10,000 target, raising £12,500 for Helping Hand in memory of Aaron,” Adam continued.
“I want to thank everyone who supported us. It has been incredible. People’s generosity has truly been overwhelming.”