Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 14)


I just got back from Scotland were I climbed the U.K.’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, 4200 feet. The challenge was a fundraiser organised by my family for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital, a children’s hospital in London that has saved the life of my niece, Yasmin, who has leukaemia. Here’s our donation page.

Mist rolls across as we start off

Half way up with Stephen Abbott who joined us from Bolton
We set off at 8AM, attacked by tiny midges that bit like mosquitoes. After two hours, thigh burn started during the steep middle section, which I found the hardest. After that, my second wind carried me to the top. Snow had packed into ice with blue streaks on the lip of the north face, overhanging a steep drop. The beauty of the ice compelled me to approach it, but with no footprints near the edge, I admired it from a safe distance.

Snow fields on the final ascent

Our team at the top
Everyone we met climbing was friendly and exuding happiness as if nature brings out the best in people.
Altitude madness
Mum and Dad
View from the top

Top of the world

Three cairns
On the way down, my thighs increasingly trembled. The large jagged stones on the path jolted my body and feet. No matter how hard it got, I was inspired by the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed who lost the majority of her toenails and sections of skin from her feet while back-packing the Pacific Coast Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
View on the way down
Travelling at the pace of the group, the whole hike with rests and a lunch break took 10 hours. After a hot bath, I drifted off to sleep with images of the relentless stones on the path flowing like a river on my dream screen. After deep sleep, I woke up to muscle soreness in my legs.

Now I'm about to leave for Wales. As Part of the Hay Festival, I'm speaking to prisoners at HMP Parc. I'm also doing a Banged-Up Banged Up Abroad talk in Port Talbot at Route 66 Sports Bar & Lounge tonight. 


Shaun Attwood

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