BiKBBI CEO aims high in 2017

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BiKBBI chief executive to raise £100,000 for Furniture Makers by climbing Everest

Damian Walters, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), is attempting to raise £100,000 for The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, by scaling the icy precipices of Mount Everest in 2017.

Damian’s journey to the summit of Everest starts in April 2017 when he travels from London to Kathmandu, Nepal.

The expedition will then fly to the Himalayan village of Lukla, which is perched on the mountainside at just over 9,000ft. From there, Damian will pass up the foothills of the Himalayas, before arriving at Everest base camp at just over 17,000ft. He’ll then spend three to four weeks acclimatising to the high altitude by tackling local peaks, before the climb up the southeast ridge of the mountain.

Damian said: “The majority of expeditions to Everest last about 64 days but there is only a few days dedicated to the summit push. The rest of the time is spent preparing physically and mentally for this demanding challenge.”

Before reaching Everest’s summit of 29,029ft above sea level – the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747 – Damian will have to overcome many dangers, including the Khumbu Icefall, Everest’s ever moving ice glacier, where many climbers have lost their lives. He will also come up against the mountain’s perilous ‘death zone’, which starts at 26,000ft. While in the death zone, Damian will face high winds, treacherous ledges, an extreme risk of frostbite and a low atmospheric pressure, which restricts the body’s oxygen intake by two-thirds.

An experienced member of the mountaineering community, Damian first attempted Everest in 2010 but was forced to abandon the climb at 27,500ft due to severe altitude sickness.

Damian said: “Going back is an absolute must as I see this personally as unfinished business. As a corporate liveryman of The Furniture Makers’ Company, I am a huge supporter of the crucial work that it performs in the areas of welfare and education in particular. The opportunity of raising money for the charity is more than enough reason to tackle the mountain again.”

Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We’ve all seen the film and heard stories about the perils of climbing Mount Everest, but when you hear of someone you know climbing it, the sheer magnitude of the challenge hits home. We’re deeply indebted to Damian for committing to raise such a substantial sum for the charity. Everyone at The Furniture Makers’ Company wishes him a safe trip there and back again.”

The Furniture Makers’ Company has prepared a number of opportunities for companies and individuals who would like to sponsor Damian’s ascent, including having a logo or name printed on the silk flag which he will secure to remain on top of the world forever.

For a full list of sponsorship opportunities, please contact Richard Ainsworth, fundraising manager at The Furniture Makers’ Company, on 020 7562 8527 or by emailing

Watch a short video about Damian’s climb up Everest and why he’s supporting The Furniture Makers’ Company.

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