HE is a former Royal Marine whose explorer father instilled a sense of adventure and desire to take on the toughest challenges.


However, now John Bathgate is going one step further and is taking on a world first - a feat which his father David didn't manage to fulfil.
It wasn't for the want of trying, but due to timing the successful explorer who was on a Chris Bonnington’s Mount Everest expedition, didn't manage to take on the Amazon from Summit to Sea. He came close on his return from a trip to Peru and paddled down part of the Amazon on paddle steam boats and rafts.

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It was his idea to navigate the Amazon from its highest source and completed part of it.
He has also crossed the Sahara and has had many other extraordinary adventures. But now it lies to the second generation to take on the challenge as Mr Bathgate Jnr is leading an Edinburgh-based team which will attempt Amazon: Summit to Sea in March 2023.

HeraldScotland: John Bathgate is in training with close friends and familyJohn Bathgate is in training with close friends and family
They will attempt to navigate the Amazon River from its highest source, the summit of Volcán Chimborazo in the Ecuadorian Andes, negotiating 5000 kilometres of wilderness, to where the Brazilian coast meets the Atlantic Ocean. 
The Amazon expels more fresh water into our oceans than the next seven greatest rivers. At 20,548ft Volcano Chimborazo is the farthest point on Earth from its centre meaning the highest source on the planet feeds the greatest river in the world which is why the challenge is called Amazon: Summit to Sea.
The 34-year-old has now begun months of training and has recently been preparing for the descent and paddle with trial runs including on the River Spey and into the North Sea. From the possibility of altitude sickness, to a 200km descent on foot to paddling 5000km to the Atlantic risks and challenges lie ahead including tackling an uncharted part of the river.

HeraldScotland: The route John Bathgate and his team will takeThe route John Bathgate and his team will take
He said: "My father never got round to planning this expedition due to other commitments – including an attempt to be the first to climb the Southwest face of Everest in 1972 with Chris Bonnington – but in his 80th year, coinciding with the year I left the Royal Marines, he passed the idea to me.
“We are hugely excited about training, planning and executing this ‘world first’ challenge, which will take about seven months in total to complete. My father never got round to planning this expedition due to other commitments – including a first attempt at the Southwest face of Everest in 1972 with Chris Bonnington – but in his 80th year, coinciding with the year I left the Royal Marines, he passed the idea to me.
“We are hugely excited about training, planning and executing this ‘world first’ challenge, which will take about seven months in total to complete. Dad has given me a lot of advice and the best thing he has given me is his mentality and adventurous spirit."

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Mr Bathgate has teamed up with Tiso, Scotland’s leading outdoor equipment and clothing retailer as it reaches a milestone 60th anniversary. The business is sponsoring the Amazon project that not only reflects their sense of adventure, sustainability ethos and strong family values but could also culminate in a world record achievement.

HeraldScotland: John Bathgate in training for Amazon challengeJohn Bathgate in training for Amazon challenge
As Tiso Group CEO Chris Tiso said: “My late dad Graham, founder of Tiso, was a great friend of climber David Bathgate, father of John who is making this expedition. It was an unfulfilled dream of David’s, now 80, to make this journey – his son and a team of former Marines will follow that path instead.
 “To mark our 60th anniversary, and David’s 80th, we’re delighted to be part of this never-before attempted expedition. Adventures like this have always been at the heart of what Tiso supports as a business, from Everest challenges to the Polar Academy charity for young people.”
Mr Bathgate added: "To have Tiso on board as our first sponsor means a great deal and will enable us to be equipped with the best kit in what are very challenging conditions. And we welcome interest from any potential sponsors as well."

To find out more or make a donation go to https://www.summittosea.org.uk