Mt Everest vs. the English Channel

May 02, 2012, 9:21 AM GMT+0

53% say Everest scale would be harder than a Channel swim, yet 62% would choose to do Everest

With the London Marathon over for another year, other marathons around the world gearing up to start, and of course, the annual (and very pink) Cancer Research UK Race for Life around the corner, we got to thinking about other sporting endeavours, often done in the name of charity, and asked the British public which they thought would be more difficult: climbing formidable peak Mount Everest or ‒ following in the footsteps of comedian and fundraiser David Walliams, to name but one ‒ swimming the English Channel.

The results were clear: Britons believe that climbing Mt. Everest would be more difficult ‒ but despite the majority admitting the challenges, three in five Britons would still rather climb the highest mountain than swim the Channel.

  • 53% feel that climbing Mount Everest would be harder than swimming across the English Channel
  • 34% think that swimming across the English Channel would be the more difficult of the options (while 13% aren’t sure)
  • If they were fit enough, 62% would prefer to climb Mount Everest
  • While 23% say they if they could, they would rather swim across the English Channel

Comparing the sexes

More men than women would be more daunted by Everest, with 57% of men seeing greater difficulty in Everest compared to 49% of women. Meanwhile, 37% of women think swimming the English Channel would be harder next to a smaller 30% of men.

On the whole, 67% of men would rather climb Mount Everest than swim the English Channel, next to 58% of women who say the same.

Age is not an issue

Our poll shows that all age groups feel that climbing Everest would be the more difficult option, but there's no denying that either choice represents a serious challenge.

Current ‘Channel Champion’ is Alison Streeter MBE who has swum the English Channel 43 times, but the youngest person ever to cross the strait is Thomas Gregory, who completed the swim in 1988 when he was only 11 years and 11 months old. On the other end of the scale, retired breast cancer surgeon Roger Allsopp achieved his ambition of becoming the oldest person to swim the Channel in August last year, setting off from Shakespeare Beach in Dover, Kent at 8am, 30th August, and swimming for 17 hours and 51 minutes, aged 70 years and 4 months.

When it comes to scaling the tallest mountain, however, the 'youngest' honour must go to US teenager Jordan Romero, who late last year broke the record for the youngest person ever to reach the top, at only 13 years of age. Just six months earlier, the 'youngest ever' title had been held by British teenager George Atkinson, who reached the summit aged 16 ‒ officially making him the youngest Brit ever to climb the ‘seven peaks.’ The oldest person to climb Everest, however, is a Nepalese man, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who in May 2008 scaled the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak at the grand old age of 76 years and 340 days.

See the full survey details and results