Iceland boss Malcolm Walker is to follow the example of derring-do entrepreneur Richard Branson by climbing Everest to raise £1m for research into Alzheimer’s.

Walker challenged other big food retailers to support him, and jokingly said: “A quarter of people over 60 who climb Everest die in the attempt, so there’s a powerful incentive.”

The team, led by adventurer David Hempleman-Adams, will plant an Iceland Foods flag on Everest’s summit. Walker intends to go as far as the North Col, at 23,000ft.

Rather than traditional expedition fayre, the team will be sustained by Iceland food specially developed by suppliers. Food will be taken to Kathmandu by logistics firm DHL and then by yak to base camp.

Walker said that the food would include Catalan chicken and smoked salmon. “We want Iceland ready meals to get us to the top,” he said. “We’re trying to do a bit of a Branson. I want to rise at least £1m.”

Walker will set off next month.

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