Father-of-two hopes to beat World Record by skiing in 30 countries in 28 days

A father-of-two has faced a volcanic eruption and a “hectic” schedule in his attempt to break a Guinness World Record by skiing in 30 countries in 28 days.

James Dick, 50, has tackled the slopes in 20 counties so far, including Germany, Italy, Norway and Iceland, hitting eight countries in the first three days of his challenge.

He is aiming to head to 10 more countries, including Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, before he completes his month-long venture in Inverness, Scotland, on January 28.

While his Guinness World Record attempt has yet to be made official, Mr Dick said he is hoping he has broken the current mark which sits at 17 countries in 21 days, as on Friday in Sweden he had skied in 19 countries in 12 days.

With the challenge, he is fundraising for two charities close to his heart, The National Brain Appeal and Saint Francis Hospice, raising more than £10,000 so far.

“I found out the current record was 17 (countries) in 21 days so I thought I’d give that a good go,” Mr Dick, from Romford, east London, and currently living in Hong Kong, told the PA news agency.

A selfie of James Dick on a ski slope
James Dick has tackled the slopes in 20 countries so far (James Dick/PA)

The avid skier, who has been taking part in the sport since the age of five, said the challenge has been “hectic” and “super-tiring”.

“It’s been increasingly harder to reach each country because there’s been a lack of snow in some places, travel distances, you can’t drive through various countries,” he said.

“I’ve now got to try and do 10 (countries) in 11 days – it’s a bit hectic and it’s exhausting looking at the plan I’ve come up with but I think I can do it.”

Mr Dick says he now plans to base himself in Istanbul.

The sunset on a ski slope
James Dick is hoping to ski in 10 more countries, finishing the challenge in Scotland (James Dick/PA)

“Then Saturday I’ll go from Istanbul to Inverness and ski Scotland on (January) 28 and then I’ll be finished – so that should be 30 (countries) in 28 days.”

Mr Dick was in Iceland on Sunday at the time of the most recent volcanic eruption near the town of Grindavik in the south-west region of the country.

A picture of the Iceland volcano erupting in the distance, with a plume of smoke rising in the air
James Dick witnessed the most recent volcanic eruption in Iceland during his challenge (James Dick/PA)

“I woke up to my friend going ‘go, go, go’ as a volcano had erupted 27 clicks away.

“That was insane, it was a bit surreal.

“I thought I’d better get out in case the winds changed and then I got stuck in Iceland and couldn’t complete the challenge – it was a bit crazy.”

A photo of James Dick wearing an orange jacket and a hat with a mountain range behind him
James Dick is fundraising for The National Brain Appeal and Saint Francis Hospice (James Dick/PA)

“I turned 50 in November and I always wanted to do something for charity and these are two very close charities to my heart,” he said.

“They are probably two charities that don’t get a lot of awareness and press, so someone has to fight their corner.

“I’m overjoyed it’s over £10,000.”

To find out more, visiting his JustGiving page here: justgiving.com/team/james-dick-1698918284049

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