Ed Beverley-Jones nears Etna summit for St David’s challenge

FUNDRAISING cyclist Ed Beverley-Jones has begun his ascent of Mount Etna as he continues his epic “Seismic Cycling” challenge to raise money for St David’s Hospice Care.

Mr Beverley-Jones is well-known for his charity work. For his current adventure, he set off from the top of Abergavenny’s Sugar Loaf on October 25 and cycled through the UK, France, and Monaco on his way to the volcanoes of Italy.

After scaling Vesuvius on Christmas Day, Mr Beverley-Jones is currently on the slopes of Mount Etna, and after reaching the summit will begin the return leg of his trip.

Speaking to the South Wales Argus from halfway up the Sicilian volcano, Mr Beverley-Jones said he had endured a “hell of a rough night” with “strong, blustery winds, thunder and lightning.”

He added: “I was well relieved to lay eyes on a smoking Etna after a very arduous journey following the very mountainous Italian coastline.

“Along the way I was stunned by the extraordinary leaning tower of Pisa which caught my eye in the distance.

“I am rather daunted by the size of Etna so ascending this will be my biggest challenge.

“I know how hard it will be after summiting Vesuvius on Christmas day, which is not as colossal or covered in snow like Etna, but still gave me an immense rush.”

At each stage of his journey, Mr Beverley-Jones has kept his Facebook followers entertained with videos showing the highs and lows of his solo trip. Video subjects have included musical numbers and cookery masterclasses using rather unusual ingredients, as well as spectacular views and a “happy birthday” message for his daughter.

Mr Beverley-Jones said he had had an enjoyable New Year’s Day in Sicily until some locals started a fireworks display.

“New Year’s Day I was snuggled up in my sleeping bag up a mountain above a smaller town of Pizzo,” he said.

“I ate hazelnuts for supper and drank the finest Italian milk, and was nicely asleep, then suddenly awoken by a warzone [which] sounded like bombs rather than fireworks.”

Mr Beverley-Jones has set a fundraising target of £10,000 for St David’s Hospice Care. To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ed-jones4

Last year, he raised thousands of pound for the same charity when he cycled from Wales to the Sahara Desert and back, following the migratory patterns of swallows.