A GP from Walton has completed his mission to climb the highest peak on every continent, after he successfully scaled Mount Vinson, Antarctica.

After waiting several days for a suitable window in the weather, David Ratcliffe, 58, senior partner of the Fort House Surgery, Walton, ascended his seventh and final summit on January 18.

Dr Ratcliffe said: “The air temperature was -27C but, with a 30-knot wind, the wind chill meant it was approaching -50C.

“I found it physically harder this time. After three hours of climbing I had to ask for a pause, but all the other climbers were half my age and it turned out that we had done in four-and-a-half hours what is expected to take six to nine hours.”

David started climbing 11 years ago as an antidote to his fear of heights. Starting with Mount Kilimanjaro, he was the only one of 11 climbers to reach the top unaided.

He said: “I was sitting on the roof of Africa, it was liberating and I thought, I can do this. Now I have.”