Sir Chris Bonington strides out with a group in the Lake District

Sir Chris Bonington strides out with a group in the Lake District

A campaigning charity is offering walkers the chance to take a hike with an elder statesman of British mountaineering to raise cash for the group.

Sir Chris Bonington has summited the world’s highest mountain but describes the planned walk as ‘better than Everest’.

The walk from the shores of Derwent Water will take place in May and will take in the fells around Coledale, including Grisedale Pike, described by many as ‘the Matterhorn of the Lake District.

The offer to accompany Sir Chris on the Campaign for National Parks’ event is open to just 25 people and the route is described as a challenging 14km (9-mile) walk.

The 14 May event has been dubbed the Grisedale Horseshoe – not to be confused with the fell race of the same name that starts in Patterdale.

The walk with Sir Chris will begin at Derwent Bank, south of Portinscale and will take on the fells west of the Lake. Entry fee for the walk is £35 and walkers are asked to raise at least £75 in sponsorship. Cash raised will go towards supporting the CNP’s campaign for the enlargement of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.

Organisers warn walkers will need a good level of fitness and stamina as the route has some steep ascents and descents, and participants will also need clothing, food and drinks appropriate for the route. Minimum age is 16 and under-18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Sir Chris, who lives in Cumbria, said: “This walk certainly is better than Everest – some of the most lovely views you will get anywhere in the world, challenging but most important of all a lot of fun!”

The event starts at Derwent Bank country house and transport is available from there to the start of the walk. Walkers are invited to put their feet up and enjoy a cuppa with the Everest mountaineer at the end of the day.

Shorter, 5km (3-mile) and 10km (6-mile) walks will also take place on the day for the less adventurous.

Pre-registration is essential and further details are on the Campaign for National Parks website and are also available by email or by ringing 020 7924 4077 ext 223.

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