A SOLIHULL grandad was one of 60 intrepid fundraisers to conquer Ben Nevis in aid of a children’s charity.
Experienced climber John Fairley supported others in the group as they tackled the gruelling 4,400ft mountain.
The steep eight-and-a-half-mile challenge raised more than £4,400 for Warwick charity Molly Ollys, and was organised by Alex Myers, from Stratford.
It marked a return to Britain’s highest peak for John, a retired Jaguar Land Rover engineer of 27 years, who, having previously completed the Three Peaks, he knew what was in store but said the biggest challenge this time around was the size of the group involved.
The 56-year-old said: “We started together and we finished together all conquered the mountain and got back safe, pain is short lived, memories last a lifetime.
“Fifty-nine people plus one dog summited and got back down uninjured and that was my goal as the sweeper. It was a very long day but worth every minute.”
It also marked a return to the UK’s highest peak for Alex Myers who works as a personal trainer and runs The Better Man project which offers emotional and physical support for men seeking to make improvements to their life.
The 38-year-old said: “To have 60 people on the day who were willing to travel all the way to Fort William and push themselves for Molly Ollys was just incredible.
“There was a real mix of abilities and there were plenty of nerves and self doubt for a lot of people before the climb. But everyone was incredible and the final people had returned back within 11 hours.
“Some of the crew had to dig really deep to conquer the mountain, which was covered in snow at the top, but the challenge and aches and pains that come with it made it all that more rewarding. It was quite emotional actually watching people push through the pain.
“But we did it and supported each other every step of the way, making sure everyone got off the mountain safely.”
Warwick-based Molly Ollys was established following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and marked its tenth anniversary last year.
The charity supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.