DeafBlind Man summits Ben Lomond - next stop Ben Nevis!
by smirnie71 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:03 am
Route description: Ben Lomond
Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond
Date walked: 04/06/2011
Time taken: 11 hours
Distance: 12.6 km
Ascent: 1055m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The adventure has changed over the months as we learned together what Dads abilities are on a hill and how well equipped we are to help him achieve his challenge.
Finally we decided that in July we are going to tackle Ben Nevis to raise funds for charity.
Ben Nevis is a serious undertaking for most reasonably fit people, let alone someone who has entered his seventh decade, suffered a severe break in his hip 18 months ago and has had dual sensory impairment since an early age. Dad is both blind and deaf and wants to undertake this challenge in order to raise awareness of this condition as well as raise funds for DeafBlind Scotland.
Thanks to extraordinary support from the walking community on Twitter, we hooked up with Lucy (@snoweider), a mountain leader and wildlife guide on Arran who runs her own company Arran Wild Walks offering a fantastic array of courses and guided walks.
Lucy wanted to get involved with Dads challenge and has very kindly agreed to be our guide up Ben Nevis in July.
So, 9am on an overcast Saturday morning we met up with Lucy at the Rowardennan car park to walk Ben Lomond together. The notion being it would give Lucy and Dad the opportunity to get to know one another, assess what support Dad needs and for Lucy to understand what it takes to guide someone with Dads impairments up and down a hill.
Whilst Dad can hear with hearing aids, the elements play a huge factor and if it's windy or raining hard it really scuppers his hearing and as guides we can't rely on it. We therefor use a combination of walking pole for support and dad holding on to one of our arms so he can feel whether he's being guided up or down. On uneven paths one of us also holds on to his back pack to stem a possible fall. That said he's perfected the art of gracefully 'sitting down' on descents without doing too much damage!
Lucy took to guiding Dad within minutes after we gave her a taste of what it's like being guided blind across a rocky path herself.
It was a fantastic day out on this magnificent mountain for all of us and we learnt a lot.
I will stick to boots that I know are comfortable as my toes felt pretty crippled for the last 3 hours, Fiona will always carry an insulation layer and Dad will slow down a little when it comes to the steep scrambly bits!
The only pity was that the mountain was swathed in cloud from about the 500m line so there were no views to be had. That however, did not detract from a fantastic sense of achievement and there were tears of joy when Dad touched the trig point of his first Munro!
We know we are in for a very long day on the mountain but having had this experience together, the GO button for Ben Nevis has well and truly been pushed.
Please message me if there is any way you can support us whether that be joining the team, helping to raise funds, donating kit or gear, PR or just for moral support!
If you would like to support Dad in raising funds for DeafBlind Scotland, please visit our http://www.justgiving.com/teams/deafblindclimb/ page and be generous!
by smirnie71 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:36 pm
by Stretch » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:10 pm
by darren » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:19 pm
by smirnie71 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:24 pm
Stretch wrote:Amazing stuff Smirnie, congrats to your dad for this incredible achievement. All the best with the Ben Nevis walk!
Thank you Stretch! It was a fabulous day and I'm so chuffed for Dad that he made it. Slightly happy to achieve my third munro too.. hehe!
I'm looking for a few more team members who are experienced walkers so if you're at a lose end around 21 July....
by smirnie71 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:36 pm
darren wrote::clap: Outstanding stuff, all the best for Nevis
Thank you very much indeed! I'm really looking forward to it ,dreading it , looking forward to it Lol
by Jock McJock » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:19 am
by Paul Webster » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:38 am
by smirnie71 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:00 am
Jock McJock wrote:What an achievement, well done. Good luck with the big Ben.
Thank you so much, it's lovely of you to say so and we're all excited about the 'Big One'!
by smirnie71 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:01 am
Paul Webster wrote:Brilliant and an inspiration to us all. Good luck to you all on the next summit...
Hi Paul, thank you so much!
Next walk is in a fortnight up Ben Vrackie - that's the plan anyhoo! I will be sure to post up our report
by MG1976 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:21 am
I THINK THAT JUST ABOUT COVERS IT.
by smirnie71 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:29 am
I THINK THAT JUST ABOUT COVERS IT.
Martin thank you so much, on a tiring day this has cheered me up no end. Next time I see Dad I will share your message, it's brilliant!
by erin_niamh » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:57 pm
I'd love to join you on the Ben Nevis climb and help raise some money I agreed to something yesterday that will be happening on the 19/20/21st, will find out asap if I can get out of it
fairly new to all of this myself so dont have much gear but anything else I can do to help just say
well done again!
by smirnie71 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:26 pm
We're actually up in bonnie Scotland this weekend for a practises walk with some other members of the team so if you're around it'd be great to meet.
Drop me a line with your number & we can discuss.
Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!
All the best,
by Johnny Corbett » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:06 pm