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Lauren and Suzi at the top of the world

/ June 2024
lauren pic2

Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who supported Lauren and Suzi to reach the summit of Ben Nevis on 1st June. They ‘smashed’ their own targets and have raised well over £2,000, which is absolutely fantastic.

Secondly, over to Lauren for her moving account of this very eventful and emotional day:

"I set out to climb Nevis on 1st June with a group of people aged 15 – 83! All with our own ailments and one of my own team members Suzi Gibson (QIRM) who joined us for the journey.

We were lucky with the weather, visibility was incredible and it was really warm, a beautiful day.

I totally underestimated the mountain. I am not a quitter, normally keep pushing on and smiling but at times I contemplated giving up and confess to many tears along the way but the sponsorship for the foundation kept me going. If it wasn’t for that I think I would have turned back at about halfway!

The ascent was the hardest and took its toll on my back and knees which I do struggle with. 6 hours of gruelling climb to the summit, the terrain was very challenging and there was very little flatter areas to get some respite from it. It was incredibly difficult to catch your breath and carrying a very heavy rucksack full of supplies for every possible situation made the climb even harder. You turned a bend and thought you were there and then, there was more ascent which was even was never ending! It is known as the mountain of heaven but I have since renamed it the mountain of hell!

The comradery was incredible, strangers helping each other, encouraging and congratulating one another.

On reaching the summit, I totally broke down and wondered how on earth I would make it back down. I had literally pushed my body to its absolute limit, in agony and was totally exhausted. Ben Nevis had literally broken me!

However, the views from the summit were beautiful and I soon realised why they call it the mountain of heaven! I felt a strange closeness to people who I have loved that have passed away and it was very emotional!

A three hour descent with ‘jelly legs’ using my walking poles as crutches at some points followed. Lots of slipping on loose shale and rocks and hands and knees scrambling at points. Sheer determination to finish the challenge got me through and the thought of a cold pint! I could not have been happier to see the pub at the foot of Nevis and never has a pint of cold cider tasted so good!

It was the hardest thing I have ever put myself through both physically and mentally, yet the biggest achievement of my lifetime to date. I am proud of all of us for reaching the summit, an experience of a lifetime (once in a lifetime). Would I do it again...absolutely not! I would rather climb Snowdon twice than endure that! I have been in immense pain since, not one part of my body does not hurt and I think it will take some time to recover physically. Proud to have achieved another experience off my ‘bucket list’ and to have been able to support the Foundation in the process which does some great work and I can now say I have conquered Ben Nevis!"

Congratulations and very well done!

It is not too late if you wish to make a donation to Lauren or Suzi.





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