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DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!


Postby smirnie71 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:11 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 21/07/2011

Time taken: 17.4 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1352m

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This is not your conventional walk report and I promise one will follow when Fiona and I are back from our week off wild camping but I just wanted to give you a :thumbup: that Michael did make the summit of Ben Nevis yesterday, 21 July.

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Britains highest mountain unsurprisingly attracts numerous record attempts every year. To the best of our knowledge on Thursday 21 July 2011, 70 year old Michael Anderson was the first deaf and completely blind man to successfully summit Ben Nevis. In total the walk took a gruelling 17 hours and 37 minutes starting at 4:45am and returning exhausted to the car at 10pm.

In support were a team consisting of family and volunteers who came together to make this dream a reality. A full report of Michaels adventure will follow but for now I would just like to thank the whole team and our very generous sponsors.

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Standing From L to R: Meg Jones, Fiona Anderson, Michael Anderson, Lucy Wallace & George Henderson. Front: Phil Turner

The Team
Lucy Wallace – Mountain Guide and Head of Motivation. A professional mountain leader and wild life walk expert, Lucy is based on the beautiful island of Arran. We first contacted Lucy via Twitter and met for an initial walk on Ben Lomond back in June. Lucy was incredibly intuitive; a natural guide for Michael she was calm and collected when we were all getting tired. She made sure that every member of the team was alright and without her motivation, encouragement and support before and on the day this challenge would not have been possible.

Phil Turner – Edinburgh based outdoors writer specialising in lightweight backpacking and long distance walking. I have been in contact with Phil via Twitter for some time now and was delighted when he announced he wanted to get involved with Michaels Challenge. We also met him for the first time in June on a walk up Ben Chonzie. Phil was an absolute rock on the day allowing friends and family to follow our progress on the walk via his website as well as tweeting pictures and updates creating a huge amount of awareness. That aside his humour and relaxed attitude kept us all upbeat throughout the day, especially Michael.

Meg Jones – Director at Red Recruitment Solutions in Shropshire. Meg found out about our challenge a couple of months ago and immediately contacted me to see how they could get involved. Not only did her company sponsor some fabulous high vis rain covers for our back packs, she also donated herself. Meg drove up from Shropshire on Wednesday to join us for the walk. Sadly she didn’t quite make it to the summit. You’ll see below why not

George Henderson – A highly experienced walker with a great knowledge of Scotlands Mountains. George and I met virtually when I rented his cottage in Aviemore and have communicated on Twitter for a long time now. This was our first meeting with George and he is utterly charming. He was fantastic with Michael and was able to read how important it was for him to maintain a relatively fast forward momentum. George guided Michael up the zig zags with great gusto. He too however did not make it to the summit with us for the same reason as Meg. Their company was greatly missed for the rest of the day.

The rest of the team comprised of Fiona, Michaels daughter who bore the whole walk and weeks of preparation with courage and humour, having never climbed a mountain until a couple of years ago.
Finally there was me. Exhausted, sore, emotional, grumpy, beset with womens troubles but above all so very, very proud of everyone, especially Michael – what a hero!

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Michael Anderson, Fiona Anderson and Nina Smirnoff, Ben Nevis Summit

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The cloud lifted for long enough to give stunning views all round including the North Face

On the ascent the team met a gentleman in his 70s who had turned back approximately half way to the summit as he did not feel he could complete the walk on his own. We were happy to support him and keep him company so he joined us.
Sadly just a couple of hundred yards from the summit he fell very ill with hypoglycaemic shock and suspected hypothermia. He was dressed in just a t-shirt and jeans and didn’t have any appropriate food with him. George and Meg stayed with him so that Michael and the rest of the team could summit Ben Nevis. Eventually after being given lots of food, fluids and some warm clothing the team found out his diabetes medication was in his car. Thankfully he was well enough to be escorted back down the mountain by George and Meg.
A lesson to all, not only of how important it is to be prepared but also an extremely courageous and selfless act of humanity.

Finally, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the following sponsors, without whose help this challenge would not have been possible: Brasher UK, Cotswold Outdoors Glasgow, Chocolate Fish Merino, Denbigh Army Surplus, Lydbury English Centre, Mammut, Red Recruitment Solutions, Smidge and Wild Stripes. Thank you all so much for your support, motivation and enthusiasm as well us keeping us comfortable, warm and dry!

Michael has done an amazing job raising funds for Deafblind Scotland and every extra penny, which he has now surely earned will be going to an life changing resource. Please give whatever you can http://www.justgiving.com/teams/deafblindclimb

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Last edited by smirnie71 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby Gable Gable End » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:15 am

A remarkable effort!!
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby morag1 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:20 am

Absolutely wonderful story - well done to Michael and everyone involved in this adventure :clap:
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby smirnie71 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:07 am

Thank you so much! We're still feeling the effects of an 18 hour day on the mountain but Michael just feels a little stiff!
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:06 am

A remakable achivement,well done to all involved,but areally well done to Michael,I will be honest and say I had my doubts when I first read/heard of this challenge,but I am so glad I was wrong.once again a heartywell done to all of you
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby BethAtTheHug » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:21 am

Kewl! Absolutely well done to all.
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby MarilynMunro » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:56 pm

Absolutely stunning, you must all be so proud off what you have done. Well done to you all, especially Michael and also to
George and Meg for their assistance to that gent.
Once again, many congratulations
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby morag1 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:56 pm

I think I met Michael about five or six years ago. I was at a nursing conference at Parkhead, Glasgow and a man called Michael was there who was deaf and blind. He spoke to us about his life and mentioned he had been a rower and also enjoyed going out in a canoe. i think he spent a lot of time on a canoe on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Quite a guy, and an inspiration to us all in spite of his terrible disability
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby Malckyb » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:11 pm

Well done to everyone,a remarkable and inspiring achievement. :)
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:13 pm

You did it indeed!!! With style and lots of smiles!!!!

Well done!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby John D Barrack » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:55 pm

Well done!!! Genuinely a remarkable achievement! :D
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby late starter » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:44 am

Aw what a moving story. Lesson for us all there - we should follow our dreams regardless of disability or not. Well done to Michael and everyone involved. What a sense of achievement he will be feeling right now. Am honoured to be able to read this story.Makes me thankful for what I have. Hope everyones legs are okay, mine ached for a good few days! :o
So so pleased for everyone and especially Michael, long day for you all but one that none of you will forget. Well Done again :D
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:20 am

Love it!!!! Chuffed to bits for you guys. Well done to everyone involved
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby GraemeMac » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:26 am

Huge congrats :clap: . was keeping an eye on your progress on the website, really happy for you all
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Re: DeafBlind Climb Ben Nevis - WE DID IT!

Postby Red Peak » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:42 pm

Well done to all concerned - a fantastic achievement! :clap: :thumbup:
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