Teenager James Raftery and his ‘fat dad’ made it to the top of England’s highest mountain in scorching conditions for a fundraising challenge on one of the hottest days of the year.
James – backed by Editing Edge as our Cause of the Year – and 16-stone dad Paul took 9 1/4 hours to get up and down Scafell Pike in the Lake District, two hours longer than they had expected.
A blazing sun and frequent stops for water as the temperature soared into the high 20s made the climb up the 3,209 ft peak “very hot and very hard”, James said.
James, from East Meon, Hampshire, is raising money to go on an expedition across Africa, where he will help build family homes in a village in Zambia.
The 16-year-old hopes to have raised more than £400 with the sponsored climb, making the challenge more gruelling by getting his ‘fat dad’ up the mountain too.
The pair had planned their climb for the Easter holidays but arrived in Cumbria to find deep snow and an avalanche warning for Scafell Pike.
This time they had the opposite problem – too much sun.
James said: ‘It was tough going in the heat and we drank four litres of water each but it felt a great achievement when we’d done it.’
He is fundraising for a 2014 World Challenge expedition that will take him with a group of Churcher’s College students all the way from Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, where they will scale the 19,340-ft peak, Africa’s tallest mountain.
The most important part of the five-week expedition will be the charity project building homes in the village of Mwandi. ‘This project is vital and will provide much-needed accommodation for poverty-stricken families,’ James said.
‘I’ve already had fantastic sponsorship from Lizzie Carver Reiki & NLP, Vicki Wilson at the Utility Warehouse Discount Club, iSAAC computer support and Olson Sales and Marketing. I’m look for more and would love to hear from businesses interested in supporting me.’
The expedition aims to challenge teenagers to do something they would never have thought they could accomplish, encouraging teambuilding, leadership, life skills, determination and independence.
James needs to raise £5,000 in total and has been bag packing, babysitting, lawn mowing, painting and window cleaning to earn money.
Anyone wishing to sponsor James can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
> An Editing Edge press release.