It would have killed a lesser man

A man from Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, who spent two years in hospital after being caught in an avalanche only to be told that he had cancer, has helped a group of intrepid cyclists to raise some £10,000 for the Seashell Trust charity also in Cheadle Hulme.

Peter Rowlands (40), a leading climber and Alpine Guide who has led expeditions around Europe and the Himalayas was caught in a devastating avalanche in Austria in 2013 whilst leading a skiing party.  After being flown back to the UK, Peter spent two years in hospital and had to learn to walk and talk again as a result of his injuries.

Had it not been for his accident the doctors would not have picked up his cancer which was discovered as a result of the various scans undertaken while he was in hospital.

“I believe my accident would have killed a lesser man,” says Peter with characteristic humour, “but I was determined to live and to get my life back together despite the injuries which have changed my life so much.

Seashell Trust organized a four-day cycling challenge from Geneva to Zurich taking in some of the iconic climbs including the infamous Furka Pass featured in the 1964 film Goldfinger.

“Having heard about the event from my personal trainer, Grace Tinner, I could not resist the challenge.  Grace’s father, Dominic Tinner, is Head of Fundraising at the charity.  After visiting Seashell Trust to meet the profoundly disabled children and young people cared for by the charity, I felt this would give me something to aim for.”

Trek bicycles (Wilmslow) which has a store next to Peter’s gym heard about his challenge and chose to sponsor Peter by donating a Trek bicycle and riding kit.

“It was lovely to be back in the Swiss Alps where I spent many years leading expeditions.  I recognised several of the peaks around Andermatt where we were based for two days tackling the most grueling passes.  Indeed, I had climbed many of them myself.”

“I am now keen to see how I can use my experience to positive advantage to help and motivate others who may have suffered traumas in their own lives to start living again.”

Peter was joined on the challenge by Dominic Tinner, Head of Fundraising at Seashell Trust, Matthew Townsend who owns and runs Ultimate Creative Communications in Knutsford and Tom Webb, Operations Director at Brazen PR in Manchester.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Pete can still go to