George’s peak performance!

Flying the flag for St Luke’s on a wild and windy mountain

Halfway up a wild and wet Mount Snowdon, George Fletcher felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to find a little girl aged around seven or eight waiting to hand him a £10 note.

She wasn’t the first or last to approach the 85-year-old from Ivybridge as he embraced the enormous challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Wales, accompanied by his son Marc, and family friend Mark Buckham, to raise funds for St Luke’s.

Other walkers stopped to talk to and congratulate George as he pursued his quest to reach the peak in memory of his wife, Eve, and to show his appreciation for St Luke’s nursing teams who cared for her at home before her death earlier this year.

‘It was a challenge, but it was wonderful’

“It was a walk in the park,” joked George, after the trio spent a total of 12 hours on the mountain, negotiating the last two hours of their return journey downhill in pitch darkness.

“There was so much support from the walking community – one man even shook Dad’s hand. It was a challenge, but it was wonderful,” added a relieved Marc who had to bring the trip forward by a day because of looming bad weather.

After camping out locally on Friday night, they set off at 2pm on Saturday afternoon, armed with walking poles, torches, warm jackets, food supplies and emergency shelters.

Summit by sunset

“We thought we’d be back at the car around 10 or 11pm, but we actually arrived at 2.30am, having spent the final two hours walking in complete darkness,” said Marc.

He’d anticipated George having the choice to come down via the Snowdon railway, but that option went out the window when the last train departed from the summit at 7.30pm.

“We got to the summit at 9.30pm for the sunset, then Dad and I crawled up the steps to the peak. It was an amazing achievement for him. He sat on the steps by himself and took a moment to think about Mum. It was pretty emotional.”

Planning for more

A delighted George continued: “I got halfway up and decided I’d better do the other half. I was glad to get to the top, but it all went very well. It felt a bit draughty, but the scenery was beautiful, unbelievable! We stopped and had a few breaks along the way, and it was good company – the three of us worked really well together.”

After a couple of weeks’ recovery, George says he’s walking better than he has for years and he’s already talking about their next trip – maybe walking Ben Lomond in Scotland.

GoFundMe

In the meantime there’s still time to sponsor George, Marc and Mark for their Mount Snowdon climb, via their GoFundMe page here.

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