The Climb of life 2021
For a number of years now the partners, Kevin Windo, Caroline Wilton and David Dees have tortured their bodies to raised funds for the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
The challenge that the Climb of Life manifests should simply be a stroll up a mountain in the Lake District; alas the real challenge is that the stroll happens around the 5th of November when weather is unpredictable to say the least.
Previous Novembers had spoilt us and in 2019 we had a hot walk up Bowfell. We were also used to a little scrambling to spice up the walk - our leaders like to make us earn our sponsorship money by taking the more “interesting” and adventurous routes.
November 2021 promised to be special: Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. We arrived the day before the event to beautiful sunshine as you can see in the photo. Lunch was had wearing T-Shirts and suntan lotion.
Taking some late practice on mountains seemed sensible given the lack of real hills down south.
The day of the Challenge was a different world
We got up early for a long drive from Coniston Water to Wasdale. As you can see Mother Nature wanted us to be wet and cold. For any of you who have done the 3 Peaks Challenge, Wasdale is the quick, direct route up the highest mountain in England with only 3 hours to the top and back down for early refreshments.
But why would we take the easy route? After donning the “worst-case” wet weather gear in the car park we set off along Wasdale for a nice, gentle stroll. Little did we know we were headed for the route described in the guide as: “though not as steep as the direct route, the trail is considerably trickier, consisting of some light scrambling and a couple of exposed paths which will definitely require a head for heights!”
As we entered the cloud, the scrambling started. Of course, to the delight of the guides the rocks were wet, and I can testify to the amazing views (straight down) as there were no views out over the mountains. The climb took longer than expected and when we did arrive at the top we had to take the photos and a quick snack before the hypothermia set in.
Fortunately for all after some 9 hours of walking we arrived back at the car park with no long-term harm done, and along the way we did see the valley floor a couple of times.
I am sure many of you will have friends and loved ones who are affected by cancer. Whilst it’s true that the Government spends huge sums on cancer research, they will only spend on proven ideas taking them through to treatments.
The ICR is unique in that it specialises in the early research that looks for innovative treatments that not only reduce the side effects of treatments but also increase the likelihood of success.
We feel driven to raise funds for the ICR and will be taking part in the Climb of Life again in November 2022 hoping to raise more than £2,000 for the ICR.