Walkers start the descent of Doddick Fell during the event. Photo: Andrew James Galloway

Walkers start the descent of Doddick Fell during the event. Photo: Andrew James Galloway

A midnight walk by 150 people up a Lake District mountain is likely to raise £5,000 for victims of the Nepal earthquakes.

The trek up Blencathra took place on Friday evening, led by organisers Matt Le Voi and John Brooks.

The pair, who are outdoor instructors, dreamt up the idea in Mr Brooks’s kitchen a week after the first devastating quake struck the country.

The pair used social media and publicity on outdoor sites such as grough to promote the walk, and their expectation was to raise about £300, a similar amount to a venture they ran a few weeks previously to aid mountain rescue.

But within three days the walk had raised more than £1,000 and current estimates put the pledges at more than £5,000.

Mr Le Voi said: “As I stood up on the back of my van to welcome everyone I looked around at this sea of faces, everything I had planned to say just disappeared. I was gobsmacked: 150 people, some of whom had travelled for hours to get to this event.”

His fellow organiser John Brooks said: “It was the generosity that we couldn’t believe. We asked for a donation of £20 per participant, but people were giving more, much more in some cases. And then on the night we managed to sell about 2,000 raffle tickets too.”

Walkers ascended the mountain via Hall’s Fell Ridge then continued over the summit and down to the top of Doddick Fell. By this point the group was just below the cloud base again, and the light was just fading. The organisers said there was a real buzz in the air by this point, with people nattering away, taking pictures, and generally just enjoying the experience.

“The snake of people went on for hundreds of metres, it was quite a sight,” they said.

The pair said coming down Doddick Fell was a real highlight of the night. “As you looked back up the fell, it looked like a Christmas tree,” they said. “If we thought we we’re gobsmacked in the car park, this was on another level.”

The walkers safely made it back into Threlkeld village shortly after midnight.

The two organisers expressed thanks to the support team which helped guide on the evening, including members of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, Bay Search and Rescue and local outdoor instructors.

They added: “Thanks go to Rachel Kearns of Cotswold Outdoor in Keswick for bringing in some fantastic raffle prizes from Montane, Gore, Ruffwear, Cicerone Press, Superfeet, Bridgedale and Buff.”

Other prizes were donated by the Soap Co in Keswick, Embleton Spa Hotel and Sir Chris Bonington.

Proceeds from the Blencathra walk will go to Community Action Nepal, the charity founded by Doug Scott, one of the first Britons to summit Everest.

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