The ever-resourceful committee of Newton Aycliffe FC took on ‘mother nature’ as they scaled the highest peak in England on Saturday.
In weather that could best be described as ‘wet’, the group of walkers took on all the challenges that were put in front of them in a bid to raise funds for the future of the Towns only semi-professional football club.
The group of walkers included Stephen Cunliffe, Gary Farley, Dan Lewis, Paul McGeary, Barry Waters and John Gaskarth. The ability and experience of the group could certainly be described as ‘mixed’ as they set off on the challenge.
As they made their way up the mountain, the forecasted rain was falling heavily. However as they got higher, their biggest challenge was the visibility. Once the walkers got above approx. 700m visibility reduced considerably, down to only 10m as they approached the 978m summit.
They were told the top of the mountain resembled a lunar scene but it was a shock to the group just how tough it was, scrambling over huge boulder fields to make the summit.
They were fortunate to be able to seek the advice of experienced mountain guides towards the top of the mountain, helping them to plot the route to the top.
Unfortunately once they got there, the views weren’t so much of the Blackpool Tower (which can be seen from there on a clear day) but more of thick fog and rain!
And so with that they set off back down, through the boulders, the gale force wind and driving rain! By now the paths resembled streams and the earlier streams were more like raging torrents! However the group remained committed to the task, and made their way to the bottom some six rain soaked hours after they set off!
Chairman Gary Farley said “the effort the lads have put in has been unbelievable. None of us probably realised how tough it was going to be, with the weather being so bad. It literally poured with rain from start to finish, and at the top you could barely see the person in front of you!”
If anyone would like to offer donations in support of the challenge, cheques can be made payable to NAFC and sent to Stephen Cunliffe at Newton Aycliffe Sports Club, Moore Lane, DL5 5AG.