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Raffle winner takes on Ben Nevis

Castlebar attendee Allan McGee was the winner of our Grand Prize raffle at the festival last year. For Christmas, Santa came to him and not to me (I booked a lot of tickets for friends online hoping to increase my chances to win).

Our festival partners Concern Challenge were good enough to offer a 4 day trekking trip  to one of our attendees from the West Highland Way to Ben Nevis, the British Isles' highest peak.

Mayo man Allan McGee from Achill turned out to be the right man for the trip. Already an adventure sports enthusiast, he enjoys climbing, ice climbing, paddling, surfing and walking high summits. He was on this Scottish adventure from the 1st - 4th of August this year.



Allan, who has climbed Africa's second highest mountain Mount Kenya and the world-renowned Machu Picchu in Peru, said even though it was his second time he still found the climb “steep and difficult”.

 Ben Nevis 1,344mMount Kenya 5,199m Machu Picchu 2,430m 
 Ben Nevis south face  1024px-Mount Kenya 2010 1  1024px-80 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009 - edit
© blisco - Ben Nevis South Fac © Radu Vatcu © Martin St-Amant

Allan loved his trip to Scotland, « because it's remote and rugged ». Ben Nevis is also United Kingdom's principal location for ice climbing. Watch out for the excellent shoot of the mountain in ‘Distilled’, a film by Hot Aches Production.

concern challenge ben nevisThe crew at the top of the "mountain with its head in the clouds"

Along with other Concern Challengers, Allan took to the South Face of the mountain, then circumnavigated the North Face, went up the Pony Track, and arrived at the summit through the Tower Ridge. The challengers were off to hike the West Highland Way (Kinlochleven to Fort William) the next day.

Ben N Face annotated

Skills learnt along the way:

  • Down a hill singing "We're off to see the Wizard"
  • Survival skills from each other, including how to stop a nosebleed
  • Scottish brewery strength

Other random things can happen on the top of Ben Nevis:

  • Finding the remains of a piano in 2006
  • Pole-dancing on its summit
  • A Model T Ford (1911) made the ascent of the mountain for a publicity stunt

Allan really enjoyed the Official Selection of 2013, McConkey being his favorite film and will attend the festival again this year. (You too, join the Why Not ? Adventure Film Festival 2014!)

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If your keen on living a similar experience and transforming others lives. ShowYourConcern and watch out for Concern Challenge's future events:

concern logo Concern Worldwide is an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world’s poorest countries.

Article co-written by Marie-Paul & Charlotte Haffner

Last modified onMonday, 26 January 2015 01:06

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