August 2018

Beauty queens aren’t just all high heels and hair spray! Worcester-born Miss Europe World aka Luissa Burton is to climb one of the world’s deadliest mountains – Mount Elbrus in Russia.

On average 26 people die trying to climb Mount Elbrus every year, which is a higher death toll than that of Mount Everest. The British Skin Foundation ambassador is trying to raise £50,000 for skin disease research as she has both psoriasis and eczema herself.

She will be climbing with Aaron Shoemaker of Wanderlost Productions - an adventure vlogger who will document the climb with a video diary. She is being sponsored by Holonis, a new social media commerce platform.

Luissa shows her psoriasis.

“As a sufferer of eczema and psoriasis I wanted to take on a challenge to raise funds for the research into skin conditions Sixty percent of people in the UK have been affected by a skin condition at some time in their life which can sometimes cause severe low self-esteem, depression and even lead to suicide. Although mostly I now have my skin diseases under control, I do occasionally have flare ups that cover my entire body. This used to be by permanent reality for a number of years until I was able to manage the underlying causes, so I fully understand the low feelings and reactions of society surrounding having a chronic skin condition,” explains Luissa.

She continues, “Having been in the modelling industry for over a decade, I was determined not to let it stop me from achieving my dreams. Reaching the summit with my Miss Europe World sash is a symbol of overcoming my limitations, challenges and hurdles during my modelling career. The hope is to inspire anyone who may be reading this that has a personal limitation whatever that may be - a skin condition, lack of self-confidence, a disability... that despite whatever your limitation, regardless you CAN overcome the opinions of others and succeed. Dream big, the world is your oyster.”

Any mountain above 5500m brings unique risks. Acclimatisation to the lack of oxygen is critical to success. Lack of oxygen is a real and genuine danger on expeditions and being physically fit has no correlation to who will be affected. Luissa has previously climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and acclimatised well, however just because you acclimatised well one time doesn’t mean you will again and this time it is technically more challenging due to the harsh weather conditions of a glacier climb.

Her challenge will take place 22nd September to October 9th, climbing in snow and ice conditions. Luissa has never climbed using axe or ice crampons before she will be taking a short course beforehand to get to grips the equipment.

Support Luissa here.

Images: Stacey Clarke.