Willow hits the heights by climbing highest peak in England - at the age of five

A young Boston girl is really hitting the heights as a climber at the age of just five.

Willow at the summit
Willow at the summit

Willow Grogan has just climbed up the dizzying heights of England’s highest mountain, the 978 metre peak of Scafell Pike.

And now she is determined to climb even higher, with both Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis – at 1,345 metres the highest mountain in Great Britain – in Scotland in her sights for this year.

Her proud parents say here family and friends are in awe of what she has done so far – and hope it will encourage others to get and stay active and hit their own summits.

Willow Grogan

Mum Amy said: “We are extremely proud as a family of Willow. “We’re delighted with all the comments of pride from friends and family on social media.

“We’re overwhelmed by the positiveness that Willow has given people, and we hope this encourages more people to get out and stay active.

“People are all in Awe of her achievement, she’s been called Willow the warrior! We hope this drives others to achieve life goals.”

Willow started showing an interest in climbing from the age of three, when the family visited the Cascades in the south of France.

Willow and dad Chris

She’s been on long walks locally since then, including the 10k from the family home to Langrick and back during icy winter weather.

Amy says: “The stamina she has is outstanding. She’s always been an energetic child and taken to anything like duck to water.

“She’s great at rock climbing walls and things like that. Lockdown was a big thing for us to encourage all our children to get fresh air, talk as a family, and exercise.

“Willow has always been an active child, her dad Chris used to be in the forces and has always been into fitness and being outdoors and exploring and Willow likes to join him out on his walks and adventures.”

Willow at the summit

Chris went up Scafell with Willow, and Amy says she was really excited about it, and it wasn’t until they were about two-thirds up that she started to fell a bit tired and they stopped for a snack break.

“She carried her own backpack all the way up and down. when she saw some snow nearly at the top the tiredness suddenly went and she was full of excitement again,” Amy said.

It took three and a half hours for them to reach the summit, and one and a half to get back down.

“At the top, she asked her Daddy: ‘Are we the highest people in England now?’. She was excited about that.

“When Chris first told people he was going to take her up there, a few people said that she wouldn't make it, but he said kids have loads of energy, the only thing that stops them doing this type of thing is the boredom, so as long as you can keep it fun and have plenty of sweets they can do it, as sugar levels are an important factor).”

Chris and Willow are hoping to go up Snowdon during next week’s half term and in the Summer they are going to attempt Ben Nevis, which will complete the national Three Peaks of the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland.

Willow and her family live on Callum Johnson Close, and she has

one brother and four sisters.

Brother Finley Rodgers, 16, has just signed a scholarship at Grantham Town.

Sisters Maisie and Freya Rodgers are teenagers, and Tilli Rodgers is nine and has a rare chromosome disorder called upd 14 maternal (Temple syndrome) and struggles walking long distances but the family hope in the future she could do something like this.

Younger sister Winnie Grogan is two, and Chris is thinking about carrying her up Snowdon in a baby carrier when he and Willow climb it.

Amy said: “Chris says now if Willow ever says she can't do something he can always say you climbed the biggest mountain in England when you were five so you can do anything!”

Willow, who is in year 1 Boston West Academy, gave the climb a 10 out of 10 mark, and said: “It was pretty and I liked getting to the top where the snow was, it made my legs better. I like climbing the wobbly rocks.”