An epic mission to climb every mountain in England and Wales has seen an adventurer walk over 1,000 miles, ascend the height of Everest five times over, and wild camp in the hills more than 50 times.
James Forrest ticked off his his 446th summit on the roof of England on Saturday, climbing Scafell Pike to mark the successful conclusion of a six month odyssey to raise money for the upkeep of our vital upland paths.
He has raised more than £500 and counting for the Mend Our Mountains
campaign and says he is "delighted" to support the protection of Britain's mountain landscapes.
James has climbed 256 mountains in England and 190 in Wales (for the hill nerds among you, this is defined as every mountain over 2,000ft in the two countries with a minimum rise on all sides of 50ft, based on the guidebook "The Mountains of England and Wales" by John and Anne Nuttall.)
Good for the soul
James set off on his challenge in March and has been spending every spare day off from work to travel around national parks including the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons and to tick off more summits.
James wild camping in Snowdonia. Photo: James Forrest
He said: "It's a cliche - but it really has been the adventure of a lifetime.
"I've loved the freedom, escapism and sense of adventure of heading out into the hills, sleeping under the stars, and giving myself a challenge.
"It has been tough, both physically and mentally. I've walked through a hell of a lot of horrific weather and stood on top of a lot of mountains in complete whiteouts. But I've also had so many incredible moments up in the mountains.
"Being in the mountains is good for the soul - and I've never bored of it. I'd encourage everyone to do it more often.
Mend Our Mountains
James, who also works for the Fix the Fells
partnership, has been using the challenge to fundraise for the BMC's charity, the Access and Conservation Trust, under the banner of the Mend Our Mountains campaign.
Mend Our Mountains raised over £100,000 via crowdfunding in early 2016, garnering national news headlines, but a new phase which will multiply its ambitions considerably is set to launch very soon.
Keep an eye on the BMC website for updates, including details of the projects that are being supported and how you can plan an epic (and hopefully fun!) fundraising challenge like James's.
Looking towards Crib Goch in Snowdonia. Photo: James Forrest
In the meantime, you can donate to James's appeal on Justgiving here
. Money raised will go into supporting vital repairs to paths on some of Britain's most iconic and popular mountains.
The Access and Conservation Trust
The BMC's charity – the BMC Access & Conservation Trust – promotes sustainable access to cliffs, mountains and open countryside by facilitating education and conservation projects across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
By educating climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers to enjoy outdoor recreation while minimising their impact on the landscape, conserving the UK’s upland resources, and campaigning for improved access rights, ACT enables future generations to continue to enjoy outdoor activities and the physical, mental and social benefits they bring to individual lives and society in general.
WATCH: What is Mend Our Mountains on BMC TV
How to donate:
Donate online via PayPal
Donate when you renew your BMC membership
Donate by text message
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