Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Grind – firefighter lugs gear to top for charity

A Langley firefighter in full turnout gear traversed the Grouse Grind Sunday in aid of mental health

UPDATED:

Mark Butterworth made it to the top of the mountain, and all in the name of mental health.

The Aldergrove firefighter successfully concluded a fundraising climb up the Grouse Grind Sunday, and consequently raised more than $3,600 in the process.

He expressed his thanks “to anyone and everyone who’s donated, donated to the page, shared the page, liked the page… all that support… it’s going to a great cause,” Butterworth said.

•••••

His twice-daily workouts at the gym, coupled with some serious hydrating, and a few extra hours of sleep are all expected to help propel Langley firefighter Mark Butterworth to the top of the Grouse Grind this weekend.

The 28-year-old construction worker believes he is ready to take on the challenge this Sunday with about 40 friends from the gym and firehall beside him. The difference, he’s the only one expected to be touting about 70-pounds of firefighter turnout gear on his trek up the mountain.

“I think I’m ready to do ‘er… I think it will be a pretty fun, easy shot,” said the Aldergrove firefighter.

RELATED STORY: Langley firefighter carrying a huge weight

As previously reported, Butterworth decided almost two months ago to scale the 853-metre trail while loaded with all his fire gear. He wanted to do it as a fundraiser.

While Butterworth has scaled the Grouse Grind several times in past, those trips have taken between 35 and 40 minutes. Lugging an extra 70 to 75 pounds with him this time, he expect this journey will take him about an hour and a half.

In preparation for the trip, he’s been working out a little harder than normal in recent weeks.

He’s kept to his twice-daily workout schedule, but he’s intensified the training regiment.

His day starts each morning, at 5 a.m. – before he heads to work – when he hits the gym and focuses on a strong cardio workout. Then right after work, he returns to the gym again, this time concentrating his energies on weights and strengthening – not just his legs, but his entire body.

“Yeah, I think I’m ready,” he told Black Pres Media, noting he’s been training with a 50-pound vest to help prepare him for the trek.

He has not only achieved his workout goals in advance of Sunday’s climb, but he has also surpassed a fundraising goal he set for himself.

His altruistic motive, to raise money for Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. Specifically the money is earmarked for mental health care in this community.

During his past two years on the job as a firefighter, he’s realized how significant an issue it is for the public and first responders alike, so he is anxious to see people get the help needed without the the stigma associated with mental health.

“It’s a cause I believe in,” he said, counting down the sleeps until his fundraising adventure. Butterworth said it’s the first of several fundraising undertakings he hopes to embark on during the coming months.

He set a goal to raise $2,500, thinking that with $20 and $50 donations he’s likely just reach his target in time for the climb.

But, as of Wednesday, he announced he’s surpassed the $3,500 mark through a GoFundMe account online, and he now thinks $4,000 might be more realistic by the time he descends the Grouse Grind.

“That would be nice to see,” he said. “If I can help out in some way, I’d like to let people know there are people out there to help and show support.”

He heads up the mountain on Sunday, Aug. 11, starting at 8 a.m.

Ahead of it, he plans to take Saturday off from working out, start hydrating as of Friday, and

And ahead of the climb, he expressed gratitude for all the support – financial and morale – he’s already received.

“Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.”

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Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mark Butterworth was able to climb to the top of Grouse Grind on Sunday, in his full firefighter gear – 74 pounds of it. (Steve McLay/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

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