Hull hiker and dog lover completes extreme fundraising challenge of a lifetime
Dave Humphreys from Victoria Dock conquered the Welsh 3000, the National Three Peaks, and last but not least the Yorkshire Three Peaks in just 63 hours.
Dog lover Dave wanted to raise money for Dogs Trust, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity which has a rehoming centre in Leeds, and also the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, which researches therapies for diseases such as Motor Neuron Disease, and which is currently helping care for a close friend of Dave’s.
He comments: “I started to think about what I could do to raise funds for these two great charities, and once I’d come up with the idea, which I knew was quite extreme, I knew I had to give it a go. I did lots of research and I’m fairly certain it’s never been done before!”
His dream challenge became possible having been awarded £500 from the Sean Conway Adventure Scholarship fund, set up by the adventurer who is the only person to have cycled, swum and run the length of Britain. Knowing the scholarship would pay for a support vehicle and fuel, there was no stopping Dave.
His epic adventure got underway in the early hours of Saturday morning of August Bank Holiday weekend when Dave, who works as a project engineer for Associated British Ports in Hull, set off on the first stage of his trek – to climb the 15 mountains over 3,000ft in Wales including Snowdon, the country’s highest at 1,085m.
“At first I was making really good progress, despite quite a few scrambles to summits and steep descents and by early evening I was ready to tackle the notorious Crib Goch which has taken many climbers’ lives,” says Dave.
“But I’d made a stupid mistake – when I’d transferred supplies to reduce what I was carrying, I hadn’t transferred my food. The light was fading so I knew I had to continue. After the scariest scramble I’ve ever completed and with 16hrs on the clock, to my relief I reached the summit. Unfortunately I didn’t feel jubilation, just exhaustion!”
Having been picked up at the foot of Snowdon, Dave and his two-man support team headed to the Lake District where he scaled Scafell Pike in just 2hrs 20minutes before reaching a foggy Fort William in Scotland, where as day turned to night once more he climbed the last of the national Three Peaks - Ben Nevis at 1,344m, the toughest vertical ascent of the three.
He says: “It was a lonely night on Ben Nevis! I passed my last group of hikers just after leaving the motorhome. When I made it to the summit it was surreal to think that at that moment in time, I was the highest hill walker in the UK! I took it all in for a good few seconds before heading down again, reaching the motorhome five hours after starting my ascent.”
Dave’s final challenge waited for him back in his home county where as a child he fell in love with hill walking whilst on family holidays. There he was met by his parents and his faithful dogs, Jessie and Skye, and off he headed over Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough – the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
"The Yorkshire stage was truly enjoyable,” says Dave. “After another ten hours on my feet, I’d finally finished. I couldn’t believe I’d done it. It was truly an awesome experience and one I will cherish forever, although I don’t think I’ll be doing it again any time soon!”
Dave’s efforts have raised around £1,000 so far and after recovering, he headed to Dogs Trust Leeds to meet some of the dogs who his money will help care for.
Following his visit Emma Cooper, Assistant Manager, said:
“It was great to welcome Dave to the centre and for him to get to meet some of the dogs he’s helped by doing this incredible trek. Everything we do for our dogs is possible because of people like Dave doing amazing things. It means the world to us.”