Hike up Ben Nevis for Great Ormond Street Hospital (by Derick Attwood)

Please join us (Shaun's parents, Derick & Barbara) in our fund raising event for GOSH. If you’ve never hiked before, you’ve got months to get fit. Take the challenge! 

Our granddaughter, Yasmin, was diagnosed with A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) last July.  Thanks to the expertise and dedication of the staff at GOSH she is on the way to recovery. GOSH helps sick children from all over the world. They need to raise £50 million per year to carry out their pioneering research, to provide world-class care for a range of complex illnesses, and to keep facilities up to date. If you are unable to join us on Ben Nevis, please donate on our just giving site. Our daughter Karen set up a blog detailing how her family copes with a child having a serious illness. You can read it here. 

To hike up Ben Nevis a reasonable level of fitness is required for the ascent, but it’s not going to be a route march – unless you want it to be!  A small group of us did the hike in June 2009. It took us over 10 hours, probably 6 up and 4 down. We stopped frequently to take photos, for water breaks and lunch. On the day we did it, the temperature reached 27 degrees Celsius. Snow lay on the ground on the top and it was quite misty, which is normal for the summit.  
It is not a dangerous walk. We will be taking the tourist path up the mountain. But it is a long hard slog so, as stated above, you need to be fit. Although the weather can be warm at the beginning of the hike, it becomes cold as you reach the summit. Care needs to be taken walking on the snow. 
Essentials are: strong hiking boots, a weather-proof anorak and gloves, hat and a warm jumper/fleece for when we reach the snow line at the top, sufficient food and fluids. Hiking poles are recommended, especially for the descent.  Please look at the link below which gives brief info and photos of the path itself to understand the challenge of Ben Nevis. 
The actual hike will take place on Wednesday 28th May 2014. You can travel up the day before and leave the day after or stay longer.

We are combining the hike up Ben Nevis with a 5 day holiday in Scotland, based in a hotel near Fort William overlooking Loche Linnhe, and travelling with Alfa Coach Holidays. This will allow non-hikers – who are welcome to support us – to participate in the fund raising event without actually hiking.  The trip will be for 5 days, departing from Widnes on Monday 26th May at 09.40 picking up at Runcorn,  and returning on Friday 30th May at 17.05. The cost will be £234.00 per person, £20 p.p. extra for sea view, £25 extra for double used as a single but no single room supplement. This includes travel, bed breakfast and evening meal, with two optional day excursions to the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness & Inverness on the Tuesday and Thursday.

Alternatively, you can make your own travel arrangements and book your own accommodation. There are numerous hotels, hostels and campsites in Fort William, the nearest town to Ben Nevis. 

If you are interested in joining us on this worthy adventure, please let us know as soon as possible. If you intend joining us by coach, a deposit of £10 per person is required as soon as possible so we can reserve your place, balance due 6 weeks prior to departure.

If you could let us know by email it would be appreciated, put Ben Nevis as the subject reference. We will send you a Sponsor Form as an attachment or in the post or your sponsors can donate on the Just Giving link above.
Please make the effort – get fit – and join us! 
Derick and Barbara 

Email:  derickattwood@hotmail.com  
We will expect each participant – whether hiking or not – to raise a minimum of £50 for the hospital.

Here are our Facebook photos of us on Ben Nevis, which give an idea of the misty summit. 

Derick Attwood


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