Ben Wilson, who broke his back while serving in the Armed Forces, started his fundraising challenge in lockdown, inspired by Captain Tom.
Over the last two years, Ben (45) from Gedling, Nottinghamshire, has been climbing his staircase to match the equivalent distances of the 100 tallest mountains in the world. On Sunday, October 30, he will complete his last hurdle in fresh air by climbing Snowdon.
Ben first decided to climb the equivalent of the Three Peaks challenge on his stairs during the March 2020 lockdown. After completing this mission, and finding that lockdown continued, he significantly extended his challenge to cover the tallest 100 mountains in the world.
Ben served in the RAF for nearly three years before a spinal injury, obtained during training, cut his career short. He received help and support from SSAFA Nottingham following his diagnoses of PTSD and COPD as a veteran. Ben has mobility issues and, although he can walk, his disability makes the challenge markedly difficult to achieve.
Ben has taken two years to climb the highest mountains from all over the world, including K2, Mont Blanc, and Mount Ararat.
“The least I can do is raise some money for SSAFA so they can help other people like me, in their time of need.”
Over the last two years Ben has had to battle injury and strain brought on by his climbing.
“I go up and down my stairs for a good few hours a day. Things start to ping when you climb that many stairs and my injury can flare up. I have a great physio who supports me. So many people have abandoned their lockdown challenges, but I am utterly determined to finish mine.”
During lockdown, Ben qualified to train for the Invictus Games in the Archery, Swimming, Table Tennis, and Wheelchair Basketball categories for Dusseldorf 2023 – and hopes to be selected to represent Great Britain.
“I don’t use a wheelchair normally but, at the Invictus Games, you simply need a disability to join in, not necessarily be unable to walk. The wheelchair is the leveller – enabling all sportspersons to compete together. It’s a brilliant concept and I am really hoping to qualify for and compete at Dusseldorf 2023.”
Ben is appealing to anyone who would like to climb Snowdon, the last part of his challenge, to join him on October 30. His team will muster at the Snowdon Mountain Railway carpark at 7.30am, setting off at around 8am.
“It would be great if anyone wants to come along. It has been a very solitary challenge over the last two years, and it would be nice to end it with some supporters. We will be taking the easy route up the mountain and, as you might imagine, I have to take it slowly, so all abilities are welcome.”
If you would prefer to support Ben by donating to his challenge, you can use the following link: justgiving.com/fundraising/100mountainsuk.
If you would like to join Ben for his last leg and need more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.