Ben Nevis x 6 Fundraiser

Next week a pair of walkers will climb Ben Nevis six times in six days to raise money for a small children's charity.

Team Speur Ghlan , 66 kb
Team Speur Ghlan
© Ric Glynne-Owen

Falkirk-based voluntary sector worker Ric Glynne-Owen, and Ross Duthrie, a gas engineer from Stirling, will be raising money for Speur Ghlan Early Intervention, Scotland's first independent early intervention service and centre for pre-school children with developmental difficulties including autism.

They've dubbed their challenge 'Neverest' after working out that six Ben Nevises are roughly equivalent to one Everest. [They acknowledge the actual figure is closer to 6.5, but then not many people climb Everest from sea level and in any case its true height is still disputed, so it's all pretty academic].

'I was sat at work looking at the height of Everest and I wondered how many times it would take to do it if I went up and down Ben Nevis' Ric tells us. 'We chose to do it in winter conditions for a bit more challenge and to more closely match the conditions on Everest [shame about the current thaw - Ed].'

The pair, both experienced hillwalkers with plenty of Munros under their belt, have been getting in shape over the winter with regular trips on the Ochils and the Ben Lawers range. But as they intend to climb the Tourist Track six times in a row boredom and sore knees are more likely to be a problem than any fitness issues.

They'll kick off on Monday 5 March, starting at 9am from the Ben Nevis Inn car park.

'On the first day we are being taken up by Gary Hodgson from Tarmachan Mountaineering, who's offered to show us how to navigate the plateau in poor weather' says Ric. 'On subsequent days it will be just me and Ross, although other people are very welcome to join us. All being well we'll finish on Saturday 10th.'

The initial fundraising target was a modest £700, enough for a month's rent for Speur Ghlan. But following a donation of £2000 from Sottish Gas and publicity in the local media they've upped the target to about £5000.

'Speur Ghlan Early Intervention receives no government funding, and has to be self sufficient' explains Ric. 'It was founded last year by my wife Ruth Glynne-Owen following a start-up grant from the lottery, and relies heavily on funding events like this.'

The charity caters for children who either have a diagnosis of Autism or who have been identified as having developmental delay including GDD, PDD-NOS, specific language disorders and/or speech delay. They provide a range of services including home based programmes, parent training, training professionals and small group therapy classes focussing on social skills, communication and play.

To see how the team get on visit their Facebook page, or to make a donation go here.

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