The youngest woman ever to climb both sides of Mount Everest was special guest at a dinner to help fund vital research and beat cancer.

Mollie Hughes made an inspirational speech last night at the fourth Business Beats Cancer dinner for Cancer Research UK at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow which was attended by more than 300 business leaders. A total of £75,000 was raised during the evening where Mollie revealed the physical and mental challenges faced by climbers on the iconic Himalayan mountain.

Edinburgh-based Mollie, 28, climbed the south side of the world’s tallest mountain in 2012, aged just 21 and on her second expedition on May 16 2017 endured temperatures as low as minus 40C during the final stages of her climb of Everest’s north face.

Photo: Left to right comedian Fred MacAulay, explorer Mollie Hughes, Joanne Casey, auctioneer Alex Fleming, scientist Seth Coffelt

Now record-breaking explorer Mollie has a new adventure ahead as she sets off in November in a bid to become the youngest woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole. She’ll leave from Hercules Inlet in Western Antarctica and take on some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain over 702 miles to reach the Geographic South Pole by New Year’s Day. Mollie is aiming to break the age record by four years as the current record holder, Johanna Davidson of Sweden was 33 when she completed the same route solo and unsupported.

Mollie said: “I’m fully aware that to ski solo 702 miles through the world’s coldest and most unforgiving terrain will require immense mental and physical strength.

“I’ll need resilience and an ability at times to control fear. I know that many people with cancer face huge challenges every single day of their lives. Cancer affects almost every family including my own. I very sadly lost three of my grandparents to cancer. Now I’m keen to do everything I can to support vital research to develop better treatments for cancer. That’s why it was a great honour to support the Business Beats Cancer dinner for Cancer Research UK.”

The Business Beats Cancer Dinner also included speeches by comedian Fred Macaulay and scientist Dr Seth Coffelt from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, while Alex Fleming was both MC and auctioneer. All the money raised will go to the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow where a thriving community of cancer scientists and doctors are working to reduce the impact of this disease around the world. An exciting programme of work has been established to look for ways to tailor treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Business Beats Cancer Board chairwoman Joanne Casey said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported the fourth Business Beats Cancer dinner, our media partners, the dedicated Business Beats Cancer board, our supporters and those who attended the event and contributed to the success of the evening.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. However, this is only possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund our life-saving research.”

For further information about Business Beats Cancer dinner in Glasgow go to Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit