Emma’s five day climb for best friend

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Dedicated friend Emma Ashton battled altitude sickness, torrential rain and treacherous terrain in South America to raise cash for charity.

Mum-of-two Miss Ashton, a hairdresser at Eden Hair Spa salon in Elland, trekked for five days across the Andes to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Emma Ashton has just returned from a fundraising mission in Peru for Cancer Research UK.

Emma Ashton has just returned from a fundraising mission in Peru for Cancer Research UK.

She took on the gruelling trek - reaching heights of more than 4,000 metres - in support of her best friend Sharon Edwards, who had been undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Miss Ashton, of Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, said: “I wanted to do something in support of Sharon - we’ve been through it all together. Since the beginning, I’ve been to appointments with her and it was me who made her go to the doctors when she found a lump.

“I feel like it was a really big achievement in the end. There was torrential rain and everyone was struggling with altitude sickness but I was so determined to finish.” She returned from the challenge on November 9 and, she was the first to reach Machu Picchu out of her group.

And when she reached the top, Miss Ashton swapped her walking gear for a dress and high heels.

She said: “With me being a hairdresser, everyone makes fun of me for being glamorous - so I changed into heels and a dress at the top - it was a bit of a joke between me and Sharon.”

Miss Ashton raised £2,000 for Cancer Research UK as part of her trip. She also volunteers for the Look Good Feel Better charity, which offers beauty workshops to women undergoing cancer treatment.

She recently extended the size of her salon, at Elland Wellbeing Centre, and an open event was held last week.