Ian Dryden Treks the Himalayas: Your Logo on his Flag

In 2019 Ian climbed Kilimanjaro for Samaritans, summiting on New Years’ Day 2020. Now he’s trekking to Everest Base Camp and up Kala Patthar!


Ian is hoping to build on the success of his first challenge, support Samaritans and keep the issue of mental health in construction on the agenda. You can help him by sponsoring his flag, making a donation and sharing his helpful videos. Find out more below.

A New Challenge

Mount Everest as viewed from Kala Patthar (Wikimedia Commons)]

Mount Everest as viewed from Kala Patthar (Wikimedia Commons)

Kala Patthar, which means ‘black rock’ in Nepali, Hundi and Urdu, provides a close up view of Everest and the trek will involve climbing to a very high altitude over a much longer period than his summitting of Kilimanjaro last year. Ian and his fellow trekkers will first climb to Everest Base Camp at a height of 5380m and then up to the summit of Kalapatar at 5545mtrs above sea level.

This is the most challenging trek you can do without special licences, climbing over 5000m twice in two days. Altitude sickness was a real challenge for Ian last year, and this new challenge will involve him spending eleven days at altitude, compared to five last time. It will also involve a lot more training and preparation.

Ian will begin his training immediately and will make the ascents in November 2021, summiting Kala Patthar on November 14th.




Why on Earth?

Those who have been following Ian Dryden’s progress over the last few years will know that this is a hugely personal journey he’s taking, in order to help others. Three years ago, Ian contemplated suicide, and got through it with the help of Samaritans and his colleagues, family and friends. You can read his story here on his first fundraising page.

Since that experience Ian has  discovered the value of exercise for supporting his own mental health, and dedicated all his spare time to supporting Samaritans and other mental health charities dedicated to changing the shocking statistics of mental health in construction.

When you think about where you were when you started it’s quite an achievement to even be taking up this challenge.

Now More than Ever

During the events of the last year, the issue of poor mental health has become more pressing, with the effects of isolation, uncertainty and financial worries taking their toll. At this time of massively increased demand for support, charities like Samaritans who save lives every day have had to deal with this demand whilst donations have dropped. In this context your support is even more important.

Sam Gale of Samaritans told us,

“Like many other charities that rely on public funding we are feeling the pressure, since many of our fundraising events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. On top of this, we are having to fund changes to our support services to adapt to the unprecedented demand and needs of our callers.”

Meanwhile, the construction industry had already started from a poor standpoint even before lockdown. The CIOB Mental Health in the built environment survey in May found 87% of respondents had experienced anxiety in the past year.

CIOB Mental Health in the built environment survey May 2020

Ian is not daunted, however. He told us,

“I want to continue my support of Samaritans for their support during a difficult time in my life.  

“I also want to inspire and help those who find themselves in a similar situation, I will share my training, video blogs on how I coped with my depression, how I motivate myself to this day to keep a mostly positive attitude and how I pick myself up when I am down.  

“Importantly I am trying to unite the construction industry in dealing with the major issue of mental health within the workplace and telling everyone out there #itisokaynottobeokay.”

Last time we supported Ian’s campaign in various ways including producing a set of links to resources on Mental Health in Construction, publishing his Vlogs on our YouTube Channel and working with SIG Plc’s partners and customers to raise awareness.

Sponsor Ian’s Flag: Your Logo at Everest Base Camp

On his last trek Ian came up with the idea to have a flag to take with him on all his training and up Mt Kilimanjaro. Last time Ian took a flag on all his training events, and up Helvellyn, Skidaww, Ben Nevis, Snowden, Scafell Pike, and of course Mt Kilimanjaro.

The flag was shared throughout SIG Plc’s customer base, appeared in RCi Magazine and Roofing Today, was endorsed and shared online by Ant Middleton and at the UK Roofing Awards with Sarah Beeney. Ian’s trek was featured on BBC Tees, and he was also endorsed by Duncan Bannatyne and featured in a video about his challenge. He even was OnTheTools’s Hero of the Week!

Ian Dryden Sarah Beeney at NFRC Awards

Ian Dryden with Sarah Beeney at the NFRC Awards 2019

This year Ian will have a new flag and you can get your logo on it! The flag will be with him on his training sessions, all his summits and events and public appearances. All sponsorship proceeds and all donations go to Samaritans.

If you would like to sponsor the flag, please contact Ian at [email protected] or 07717 361 762. Places are limited so don’t delay – we are commissioning the flag shortly so that Ian can start taking it on all his training events and appearances for the next twelve months.

How to support Ian and Samaritans

There are a number of ways you can support Ian’s work to help others.

  • Make an Individual Donation: Ian has a JustGiving page for his Kilimanjaro climb, raising money for the Samaritans. You can visit his fundraising page and donate.
  • Sponsor Ian’s Flag : If you would like to sponsor the flag please contact Ian at [email protected]or 07717 361 762 as soon as possible.
  • Sign up to get Ian’s Videos: Ian will be video blogging (vlogging) about his experiences whilst training, and about the statistics and the initiatives many in the industry are taking to turn the tide. Ian has his own playlist on our channel. If you’d like to get Ian’s videos in your inbox, subscribe to our channel here.
  • Share His Posts: We invite you to follow Ian social media accounts and join in sharing the messages with the hashtag #IanClimbsKMJand #ItIsOkayNotToBeOkay. Find him on Twitter at @IanDrydenClimbs and on Linkedin.
  • Get Ian to Speak at your Event: If you’d like Ian to come and speak to your people about his story and how you can improve your mental health please contact us.

And don’t forget you can support Ian’s campaign at any time here:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!