Martin Williams went up Ben Nevis today with the help of his son Richard and a few of his friends. Nothing unusual in that but Martin has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. He found a very tough wheelchair for today and lots of very strong and motivated friends to help push, pull and carry him to the top. Thankfully the weather was on our side, staying dry all day and clear so we had great views. It was cold on top in the breeze so we didn't hang around long and going down took just as long as going up
The wheel chair was adapted with long poles running front to back as carry handles and a shorter one across the back under the normal handles. This worked with a huge effort on the way up and on the way down we managed more rolling on the wheels with anchor ropes and picking up over the rocks and steps. It took us six hours in ascent and the same in descent which I think was exceptional. The team of helpers are exceptionally fit and strong. I only did a little to help and my back, shoulders and forearms are wrecked! The team has a long drive on a coach back to Wales tomorrow and I think they will sleep all the way home! Well done to all of them and mostly to Martin. It's not easy being carried for twelve hours and Martin smiled all the way.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.