A COUNTY Durham man whose father died of pancreatic cancer last year has raised more than £13,000 for charity after completing an epic trek through the Himalayas.

Scott Baker, 28, and his friend Mark Cairns, 26, from Trimdon Grange, near Sedgefield, took just 18 days to hike from Lukla in North-East Nepal to the Everest Base Camp.

The gruelling journey saw them tackle ascents of 5,332 metres and endure challenging weather conditions, sub zero temperatures and altitude sickness.

However, the pair, who trained intensively for the challenge, said any feelings of discomfort were surpassed by their sense of achievement and pride at raising more than £13,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

“It was tough, especially getting used to breathing in high altitudes,” said Mr Baker. “When we reached the base camp I felt really ill. I have never felt cold like it before.

“It was great fun though and the views were fantastic.”

For Mr Baker the challenge was particularly poignant as it was inspired by his father John Baker – a retired police officer who died of pancreatic cancer last June at the age of 55.

The married-father-of-two, known to many as Joe, had complained of stomach pains for a few weeks before his diagnosis on May 11. His condition deteriorated rapidly and six weeks later he died.

“Cancer is something that affects so many people and it is nice to be able to do something to help,” said Mr Baker, a rehabilitation engineer with the NHH.

“I wanted to do something a bit different that would catch people’s attention and raise awareness as well as money for the charity.

“Pancreatic cancer is not something you hear about as much as other forms of the disease.”

Andrew Moffatt, head of fundraising and marketing at Pancreatic Cancer UK, congratulated the duo on an “extraordinary achievement.”

“Scott and Mark’s Himalaya trek was an amazing challenge and to raise over £13,000 is incredible,” he said.

“Pancreatic Cancer UK relies entirely on the generosity of individuals for all of its funding and Scott and Mark’s donation will help us provide information and support to many more patients in the future.

"It will also enable us to fund further research, ultimately helping to save lives."

To sponsor the pair visit justgiving.com/Scott-Baker.