A Penwortham paratrooper has attempted to summit Britain’s three tallest peaks 11 times to raise funds for Support Our Paras.Advertisement
Beginning on Saturday 12 June, Ben Swarbrick aimed to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon 11 times each across 7-10 days, a distance equal to summiting Mount Everest four times.
Ben began with Ben Nevis, where on day one, he experienced good weather conditions. It was cold, and there was heavy clag between the 700-750m marks, but there was no rain and little wind. He started strong and summited four times.
On day two, encountering strong winds and heavy rain, Ben had to readjust his four-summit plan, but he still managed an impressive three summits despite the unfavourable conditions.
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On day three, he woke up to heavy rain, strong winds, and from around 800m, freezing conditions. After setting off on his first attempt of the day, which would be his eighth summit, he decided to end his expedition after his ninth due to difficulties presented by the adverse weather.
Ben moved on to Scafell Pike, where he experienced favourable weather. On day one, it was sunny and clear, and he managed to complete four summits.
On day two, Ben was disappointed as the weather had turned to a low cloud, rain and wind, but fortunately, it was not too cold. Pressing on, he summited twice before taking a well-deserved rest before heading back for the final two summits of the day.
On day three, the fine weather had returned, and his first summit went smoothly.
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Ben said: “I started to feel a few niggles on the descents, but I still managed to bag all four summits, which ticks off all 12 on Scafell Pike.
“The plan was to have a rest then continue to Snowdon the following day. Scafell definitely took it out of me as the terrain underfoot is horrible. My knees and shins took a pounding, but I kept pushing forward.”
But when Ben reached Snowdon, he was still in pain.
He said: “With the injuries in mind, the plan was to walk up to the summit pushing my bike and then let it do the work bringing me down to save my legs from any more damage.”
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On day one, Ben struggled. He described the first climb as a long slog, but it was a steady descent on his bike. On his second climb, he decided to leave the bike behind and proceed on foot, which he said was a mistake.
He said: “This was my slowest ascent. The descent was, truthfully, the worst pain I have ever felt from start to finish. Once I was back down, I decided to call it a day and see what day two would bring.”
On day two, Ben woke up eager to start strong on his bike. But after setting off, he knew he was on borrowed time. Pushing the bike as far as possible, Ben experienced pain in his right leg. He cycled as far as he could, arriving just below the cafe halfway up the mountain.
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Ben said: “I gave it my all and pushed as far and as hard as I could. I’ll recover, then come back and finish the final 10 climbs.”
Ben’s final total was nine summits of Ben Nevis, 12 of Scafell Pike, and 12 of Snowdon, a distance of 169 miles or 86,000ft, equal to three summits of Mount Everest.
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Proud Preston. This, and many stories like it, show how the people of Preston are making a difference. Our Proud Preston section showcases all the charitable, kind, uplifting and great things about our city and the people who live here. #ProudPreston is alive and well, and there’s much to celebrate and be proud of, despite the challenging times we all face.
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