Young boy climbs the Three Peaks to raise funds for the charities that helped him

A young boy has climbed three of the UK’s highest peaks before his tenth birthday to raise money for the charities that helped him after he became unwell while wild camping.

Will Garratt, from Great Broughton, North Yorkshire, attempted to climb Scafell Pike with his father Dave Garratt, 45, during the Easter holidays in April.

After hiking for over three hours, they decided to set up camp near Sprinkling Tarn on Seathwaite Fell with the intention of reaching the summit in the morning.

Dave said: “Unfortunately, Will woke at 4am vomiting. This was quite sudden and severe, but being dark and -1 degree Celsius outside, we had no option other than to wait it out and keep warm.”

As day broke, they packed up and prepared to descend, but about 5-10 minutes into the descent Will’s health was deteriorating.

Dave said: “Will was exhausted due to the sickness, drifting in and out of sleep, vomiting continuously, so we requested assistance from mountain rescue via our satellite communications.”

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) and Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) responded to the incident and Will was checked over by the paramedic and doctor team from GNAAS who reassured him that he would feel better soon and didn’t need to visit a hospital.

Due to the remote location, Will and his father went in the air ambulance and were airlifted down to Seathwaite in Borrowdale so they could easily reach their vehicle and drive back home.

Dave said: “The sudden illness was a mystery. He had only eaten the same as me but he was totally exhausted and it continued for a further twelve hours once home.”

To help raise awareness and funds for GNAAS and KMRT, Will, who is inspired by Bear Grylls and Nimsdai Purja, decided to climb Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis, with his father before his 10th birthday in September.

Dave said: “We decided on Snowdon for the first peak as Will was still a little nervous about wild camping after the incident at Sprinkling Tarn. This was Will’s first time in Wales and he was intrigued by the Welsh language on the radio and all the road signs.”

They decided to ascend late to avoid the crowds and filled the time by taking part in ‘the world’s fastest zip line’ at Zip World.

Dave said: “Will is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and loves rollercoasters and waterparks, so this seemed ideal. His older brother Tom, 26, had joined us for this peak so all three of us got to experience this together.

“Will summited Snowdon in just under four hours before the two-hour descent to camp. Will loved Wales and said it was his favourite of all three of the peaks.”

The next peak was Scafell Pike, which his father called Will’s nemesis, after two failed attempts due to weather and illness.

Dave said: “We set off from Wasdale Head with fine weather. He had honed his kit to remove items not required and add items we had talked about. The main thing was we were going to cook fresh.  It was hard work carrying his full equipment for overnight camping with people speeding past in shorts and trainers but on reaching the summit at 5.30pm it was all worth it as we had a nice meal of pasta, meatballs, and garlic bread in the shelter just down from the trig point.

“We met people along the way and were humbled by their donations upon hearing Will’s story.”

After conquering the second peak, Will visited KMRT’s base to learn more about how his donations will help support their operation, and was intrigued to try rock climbing after seeing a climbing wall at the base.

For the last peak, which was Ben Nevis, he was joined again by his brother Tom and this was his first time visiting Scotland.

Dave said: “As we reached the lochan the clouds dropped and the rain started. An ideal opportunity to put up a shelter and get some hot food on. Luckily the clouds lifted after an hour and we had clear 360 views for the rest of the day.

“By the time we had made our descent to the lochan for our wild camp Will had been walking for seven hours.”

Will has raised more than £1,800 from his challenge and he even caught the attention of the Prime Minister who sent him a letter acknowledging his fundraising.

In addition to the funds raised from his challenge, his school held an assembly and charity day which raised £717.86 for GNAAS.

Dave said: “I’m super proud of Will and his determination throughout the challenge.

“I gave Will a medal at the top of each peak and a badge for his GNAAS hoodie which he wears with pride.

“We are going to continue our expeditions over the coming years and try to summit all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District.”

To sponsor Will visit his JustGiving page.

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