Andrew goes 'Barefoot for Battersea'

Climbing the highest mountain in England and Wales is a challenge for most of us, but for Andrew White it was even more of a mission.

Andrew White on Snowden
Andrew White on Snowden

Andrew, from Market Rasen, launched his Barefoot for Battersea fundraiser in memory of his dog Riley, who died last year.

Accompanied by his daughter Shannon – who did wear shoes – Andrew set off early for the ascent up the mountain’s Pyg track. While this is one of the shortest routes up Snowdon, it is the most rugged and challenging route to the summit.

Andrew said: “Being barefoot, my progress was slower, so although we had begun about 7am to avoid the crowds, others began to overtake us about two hours into the climb.

Andrew White and his walking companion, daughter Shannon

“The going was less arduous than expected, with about two thirds of the track covered in large flat slabs making progress easier.

“The shale, however, was very slow, having to slowly pick my way step by step. Surprisingly, no foot injuries were incurred, so the previous nine months of local training must have paid off.”

Even with having to take ‘careful’ steps, the pair completed the ascent in a very respectable five hours.

Andrew said: “The weather was glorious and we were blessed with clear views from the summit..... It’s normally covered in mist.

“Disappointingly, the summit cafe was closed but Shannon was there providing much needed support and provisions, and we both said a quiet prayer for Riley whilst on the summit.”

Andrew continued: “Congratulations came from many people on the mountain – and there were many gasps and cringes of horror when they saw I was barefooted.”

The pair made their descent on the Miners Track, completing it in four hours.

However, Andrew didn’t stop there. He said: “Although the Snowdon ascent was my official barefoot challenge, I have since been to the peak district and have climbed Mam Tor, and Kinder Scout – both barefoot."So far, Andrew has raised just over £700 of his £1,000 target for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Andrew added: “I intend keeping the fundraiser open a while longer and to attempt a few more peaks.

“I am currently studying the various paths up Ben Nevis in Scotland, with a view to a barefoot climb either later this summer, or early next summer.”

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