About the Challenge

I’ve challenged myself to climb 542 Lakeland Summits during 2016. By the end of June I’d managed 272 – just halfway.

As you may know, I climbed all 214 Lakeland ‘Wainwrights’ in 55 days in 2009. Last year I was looking at a classic book – the ‘Complete Lakeland Fells’ by Bill Birkett, which describes 541 separate hills and mountains over 1,000 ft high – all the Wainwrights except two (Castle Crag, 951’ and Mungrisdale Common, a featureless 2,077′ plateau strangely included by AW), plus another 327, many of which I haven’t climbed. The book also includes Pillar Rock which isn’t a walk but a proper rock climb, so I’ve kept that out of the total, although you never know…

I’ve decided to DO THEM ALL – that’s 542 fell tops – not in two months (I’m getting older you know) but starting and finishing in 2016, donating all the funds raised to Cancer Research UK.

Now here’s the different bit. I’m not asking for money up front, or the usual kind of one-off donations from friends and family. Instead, I’m asking supporters to pledge 10p per summit. I keep everyone update of progress via the website, and I’ll ask you to put the money to one side – in an old-fashioned tin for instance. The maximum number of hills in one day is likely to be around 10 or 12 (it’s turned out to be 13), the most in a week maybe 40. So you won’t have to find more than £1 a day, £4 a week or so max. But the challenge will take much of the year between start and finish, and at the end your tin will hopefully contain £54.20 without you having to find more than the change in the bottom of your purse or the price of a decent glass of wine!

If this is too much then you can share with a friend or pledge less per hill. Of course, if you want to pledge more than 10p per hill that will definitely be OK too! And now that we’re halfway, new recruits who feel that such a commitment for only part of the year is too much are welcome to make a donation of whatever they wish via the Just Giving website.

What’s REALLY important – and I can’t stress this enough – is that as many people as possible, from as big an area as possible, engage with this challenge, pledge support, and get their friends and colleagues to commit too. So I’m asking you, seriously and earnestly, to spread the word, by using your email contacts or social media as much as possible. I’ll be suggesting useful tips along the way on how to make this effective. The initial target was £25,000 but by the end of June we’d already hit this figure, so let’s go on and do the best we possibly can for Cancer Research.

So, my request/tip is this: If you’re IN, please Pledge your Support – then PLEASE SHARE this as widely as you can. When you do share, PLEASE WRITE AN INTRODUCTION – this way your friends are much more likely to read it

Thank you all once again.  Together we will beat cancer sooner.