July 8, 2014, by Emma Thorne
True grit as Will completes his 3 Peaks Challenge
Wheelchair user Will Blanche has taken on three of Britain’s highest mountains using a specially-adapted hand-bike to raise money in the fight against children’s brain tumours.
Will, who has spina bifida, set himself the goal of becoming the first person to complete a Three Peaks Challenge on three wheels by climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, Snowdonia in Wales and Skiddaw in the Peak District. He aimed to raise money for the Jessica Hope Foundation, a charity which supports vital research into rare brain cancers in children and young people undertaken by The University of Nottingham’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC).
While setting a good early pace on Ben Nevis on Friday July 4, weather conditions conspired against Will and unfortunately the attempt had to be abandoned on safety grounds. But Saturday was a new day and despite the steepness of the ascent on Skiddaw, Will powered to the top on the three-wheel hand-bike which he has dubbed The Mountain Beast.
Sunday saw the final mountain of the challenge and after just four hours an emotional Will abandoned his bike to crawl the last few feet to the summit of Snowdon.
Paul Bradshaw at BBC East Midlands Today accompanied Will and his team on the challenge. In his exclusive report, Paul said: “So journey’s end here in Wales, with two of the three peaks climbed and only the extreme weather on Ben Nevis defeating Will’s plans. Even so, a superhuman effort from a truly inspirational man.”