A CHESHIRE endurance adventurer who has attempted to reach the peak of Everest twice has smashed the target of his latest fundraising challenge.

Alex Staniforth, 22, of Kelsall, has completed his mammoth Climb the UK challenge. He has climbed the highest peak in all 100 counties of the UK in a ten week period and has raised more than £20,000 for the mental health charity, Young Minds UK.

The former Tarporley High School pupil has thanked his supporters for helping him raise more than double his target of £10,000.

Alex said: “A big thank you to all the people who've supported and contributed to Climb the UK.

“It’s the enthusiasm of my supporters and the worthiness of the cause that has kept me going.”

Alex, who launched his first book Icefall at last year’s Chester Literature Festival, completed his challenge at Moel Famau on the border of Denbighshire and Flintshire.

During the challenge, Alex traveled 3,500 miles in 10 weeks on foot, bike and boat to raise awareness of and money for the charity which champions the well-being and mental health of young people in the UK.

Young Minds UK is particularly close to Alex’s heart as he has suffered from mental health issues since he was a boy. His ambition is get more of us talking about mental health, and crucially, doing something about it, as he feels it’s still a taboo subject for many people.

“Mental illness is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with – far more difficult than climbing Everest,” said Alex

“Everyone has their own mountain to climb and my big message over the next few months is that if you’re . suffering from mental health issues, please speak out, tell someone you trust, visit the Young Minds website and seek help – it’s not a sign of weakness.

“Talking about it is a sign of strength,” he added.

Although just 22, he has already attempted to reach the peak of Everest twice, only to be thwarted by avalanches, the second of which two years ago killed three fellow climbers.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/climbtheuk