Fundraisers have a mountain to climb to support vital service
- Credit: Suzanne McFadzean
In five weeks’ time an Axminster team of fundraisers will be setting out to complete a mission to walk up Mount Snowdon in the dark in order to enjoy daybreak at the peak.
In doing so, with the public’s help, they hope to raise several thousands of pounds for the town’s unique mental health charity, arc.
The group is made up of local people representing a spectrum of ages and backgrounds but universally committed to helping arc deliver its much-needed service to the local community.
An office worker, stable groom, doctor, local councillor and shopkeeper, to mention a few, will be lacing up their boots, donning their backpacks and heading out into the night.
For months the team members have been training, storming up local hills, meandering along the coastal path and footpaths by day and night. They are not a fair weather bunch, putting one foot in front of the other in rain or shine... and sometimes snow.
The adventure on May 26 will be directed by experienced team leads and supported by a team medic from the Axminster Medical Practice. A local photographer is also part of the team and she will be ready to snap shots of the group’s no doubt smiling faces as they trudge through the sun, rain and who knows, snow.
Each member will be carrying kilos of gear, including wet weather kit, spare clothing, thermals, maps, survival bag, sleeping bag and most importantly high energy snacks! Team Leaders will also be carrying radios and emergency group shelters in case the group needs to hunker down due to weather or injury.
The troop intends to set off at the start of Rangers path, one of the oldest and most iconic mountain paths just after 1am and follow the snaking, rocky and uneven trail 920m up the western approach to the 1,085m summit, crossing the LLanberis mountain railway on the way.
The climb should take just around four hours and will be done under the light of the May super moon (cloud cover permitting) and head torches.
Just before 5am the team will arrive at their destination and at nine minutes past five the first rays of the morning sun will breach the eastern horizon and illuminate the mountain peak just in time for the group's three-hour return leg.
That new sun will finally allow the team to see the sweeping views of Snowdonia National Park that it was too dark to see on the way up, that is as long as the infamous fog does not appear. The notorious pea soup can be thick and very disorientating.
The concept is a symbolic one, as arc provides a journey to recovery with counselling the team will be walking into the light of a new day all the while supporting each other on the path.
Every team member has their own personal reason for joining the adventure and for most it's the opportunity to support a part of the community that has helped so many. Arc is a truly unique organisation and is available to patients who are referred for counselling via the Axminster medical practice.
Arc provides easily accessible, flexible, local counselling and psychotherapy at the heart of the community. It supports the personal recovery of local patients registered at Axminster Medical Practice, who are seeking help through times of profound change, trauma and loss.
The Snowdon project is funded by the team members and from the exceptional generosity of local businesses such as Axminster Property, Quay Technology and Willsecure.
To support these walking warriors in their quest to raise as much as possible for arc you can donate online via Just giving www.justgiving.com/team/castingthelight all donations go to arc and help support individuals from our town and community.