Top of the world: John Layfield completed his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last October. *Photo by supplied
Top of the world: John Layfield completed his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last October. *Photo by supplied
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23: Former pro-footballer and wrestler John Layfield will climb ‘Mount Death’ this month — all in the name of charity.

Mount Aconcagua in the Andes will be his third climb for the Beyond Rugby Bermuda programme he started along with The Family Centre.

Mr Layfield, who was the longest-reigning WWE champion when he wrestled under the pseudonym JBL, completed his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa last October.

He is doing The Seven Summits Challenge — climbing the highest peak on every continent — to raise money for the Family Centre.

Kilimanjaro was the second peak attempted by the 45-year-old.

In June, he had to turn back when he was in sight of the top of Mount Elbrus because the weather was turning from bad to deadly.

Speaking to the Bermuda Sun before he left for his climb on Monday, Mr Layfield, who now has a home in Bermuda, said he had been busy training for the two-week climb.

“Things are going great. Mount Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia. It’s almost 23,000 feet.

“The nickname is Mount Death. My wife isn’t too happy about it. The problem is its only 80 miles from the Pacific. Wind chills can be up to minus 100 so it’s very dangerous.”

Speaking about training, Mr Layfield said: “I have lost about 30 to 40 pounds and I hope to lose another 15 to 20.  I’m doing a massive amount of training. I do the treadmill, running and backpacking. It’s all about endurance.”

He continued: “The thing is, it’s not about training for a marathon. You have to do it everyday. It’s not just training for a specific race, you’re really going to have to do this climbing every single day. It’s really building up the endurance.”

Mr Layfield admitted the training gets “boring” because he does it twice a day. As far as his diet goes, he said: “I’m training so much, I can pretty much eat whatever I want.

“I am trying to lose weight so I’m eating lots of carbs to keep my energy up and lots of protein.”

Mr Layfield said it would take him two weeks to climb the mountain: “It’s a really long trek up. I have to do the climatization. I’m guessing around eight people will be with me. I have got an old American football friend climbing with me.”

He continued: “Everything we’ll have up on the mountain, we’ll carry with us. We’ll take provisions up, establish the next camp, come back down and take everything else.”

Asked about the fundraising, Mr Layfield said: “It’s going good. We have had quite a few people that are donating to us.

“My employers are funding all the travel so 100 percent will go to Beyond Rugby. People can go to the website and donate knowing that 100 per cent goes to the kids. None of it goes to travel or food for me.”

In addition to training for the climb, Mr Layfield has started up the school rugby league here. We have games every week. This is the first time it’s ever been done.

“This is the first time a league has been established. All the high schools are involved. We have got a lot of great athletes up there competing each week.”

Games take place at the various schools.

• For more information or to donate to the cause, visit www.sevensummitsforkids.com.