On a recent holiday, BMA supporter Angela Corrie made a personal vow to climb Ben Nevis before her 70th birthday. Angela will be 70 in January and this is her story:
“In my thirties, I lived in Scotland and did a bit of hillwalking but in 1986 moved to Hertfordshire then Suffolk and did very little more, I was bringing up a family and both counties are VERY flat. I still enjoyed walking in the countryside.
“Two years ago on a holiday in Scotland, by chance, my husband and I did a couple of thousand feet of Ben Lawers, my first mountain since my thirties. I enjoyed it so much I got the idea of climbing Ben Nevis (which I had never done) before my seventieth birthday which falls in January 2018. It seemed obvious to get sponsored and Bhopal Medical Appeal, the smallest of the charities I support regularly and probably the least known seemed the obvious choice. I also felt Bhopal was a forgotten cause that needed publicity to remind people it was an ongoing tragedy even 33 years later.
“Training was a problem in flat Suffolk so I concentrated on getting as fit as possible by power walking, doubling my effort every time I came to a small mound or slope, the best to be hoped for. I climbed my home stairs two at a time, repeating this for up to ten times at a go. I even resorted to climbing the stairs at the local multi-storey car park though embarrassment stopped me doing that too often.
“John, my husband and I planned our time in Fort William for June 2017 and booked our accommodation for six nights hoping that on one of the five days available the weather would be suitable for inexperienced mountaineers. On our arrival at Fort William the forecast for the week was gales and rain, possible snow.
“But, fortunately weather forecasts are not always accurate and on Wed 7th June at 8.45 we set foot on the mountain. It is very hard but we plodded on constantly overtaken by younger people but after five and three quarter hours reached the top. A quick photo and we set off down. We were tired but proud and elated.
“As a final comment, I want to express my thanks to husband John who not only did the climb with me, (he’s eighteen months older than I am but with legs twice as long I feel it must be easier for him) but also for coping with my neurotic worrying about the weather in the days just before the climb, not to mention the aches and pains the next day.”
Our congratulations go to Angela for achieving her goal along with our thanks for the stunning effort in raising £800 to help support our work in Bhopal.