17th September 2023
The three former Exeter Chiefs players were raising money for LooseHeadz, a mental health charity. NEW
Greg Bateman, Phil Dollman and Kai Horstmann have reached the summit of the 4,634m Italian peak.
They had been planning to climb Mont Blanc, the highest western peak in Europe, but it was deemed unsafe due to the possibility of rockfall.
After a training hike on the Grand Paradiso in Italy they turned their attention to Mont Rosa that sits beside the Matterhorn.
They said the climb was much harder than they expected.
Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the area.
We previewed the feat in this article as PlanetSKI is currently in France visiting the mountains and watching the Rugby World Cup.
Here is their statement on their Just Giving page:
3 mates – Kai, Greg and Phil, 1 million reasons and 1 giant mountain!
We are 3 ex professional rugby players who have sadly witnessed some of our closest friends and team mates trying to pull themselves out of the gutters.
We are campaigning to raise as much awareness and money for LooseHeadz and expand their support in Rugby.
We have zero climbing experience and are certainly not the body shapes associated with climbing mountains.
This is some challenge!
100% of money raised will be spent on expanding the tools in the tool kit and adding boots on the ground to support and make a difference in person.
Any support would be hugely appreciated.
LooseHeadz is a rugby clothing brand that supports the emotional needs of those involved in rugby.
The former players have said such help was non-existent wen they played the game professionally.
“Because we’ve played (rugby) together, and we’ve experienced being in a hard position – nowhere near as hard as this – we kind of know how to help each other through,” Kai Horstmann told the PA news agency.
“It would have been so hard doing it on your own.”
“It was so much harder than what we thought it was,” said Greg Bateman.
“We knew it was going to be hard, but you don’t realise how you’ll be affected by altitude, or how you’ll manage walking 10-and-a-half hours a day, five days in a row.”
“I felt like I was almost in a bit of shock at the top of Monte Rosa that we had actually done it,” he added.
“We got to the top, we had a big hug, but we were all just being really grateful to the guide for getting us there.
“I was so surprised and shocked that we’d done it.”
They have raised £13,397 so far and if you want to contribute here is their Just Giving page.