Cat Bells is illuminated during the event. Photo: Nick Landells/Lakeland Photo Walks

Cat Bells is illuminated during the event. Photo: Nick Landells/Lakeland Photo Walks

An event that lit up one of the Lake District’s most popular fells raised more than £11,000 to help victims of last year’s Nepal earthquakes.

The Catbells Festival of Light involved more than 500 walkers forming an illuminated chain up the spine of the diminutive peak overlooking Derwent Water.

Participants used torches to light the night and the event was recorded by three professional photographers. This year’s fundraiser followed a smaller Blencathra by Moonlight walk last year for the Community Action Nepal charity founded by Everest summiteer Doug Scott.

Donations, raffle ticket sales, cake and map sales have pushed the total raised for CAN over the £11,000 mark. Organisers Matt Le Voi and John Brooks of Lakeland Mountain Guides have both spent time in Nepal and said they wanted to do something bigger than last year’s event, which brought in £5,000.

Mr Le Voi said: “Almost 12 months of planning came down to one evening. We needed everything to align for just a few hours and it did – and some.

“The support for this event blew me away.

“The kindness and generosity of everyone who supported the event was incredible. Everyone dug deep and they were so keen to be part of this spectacle. The money raised will go such a long way to repairing the lives of thousands of Nepalese people.

Cat Bells' lights are reflected in Derwent Water. Photo: Tom McNally

Cat Bells' lights are reflected in Derwent Water. Photo: Tom McNally

“The pressure is on now to ensure next year’s fundraiser is bigger and better.”

Participants walked from the Moot Hall in Keswick, coincidentally the finishing point that evening for Jasmin Paris’s record-breaking Bob Graham Round run, and made their way up the 451m (1,480ft) fell.

John Brooks said: “It seems the festival was not just on the spine of Cat Bells, as the whole of Keswick seemed to be watching, and the amount of people who have been talking about it since has been awesome.

“We couldn’t have pulled off such an event without the help from fellow instructors and mountain rescue team members. Huge thanks has to go out to them for making this event such a success.”

Walkers line the spine of Cat Bells. Photo: Andrew James Galloway

Walkers line the spine of Cat Bells. Photo: Andrew James Galloway

Photographers Tom McNally, Nick Landells Carmen Norman were situated around the mountain and captured the event. The event was also viewed by numerous people in boats and canoes on Derwent Water.

Andrew James Galloway, Harvey Noble and Tim Fisher also took pictures of the event on the fell.

Downloadable versions of the images can be bought online for £10, with 50 per cent of the price going to Community Action Nepal.

Online donations can also be made via a justgiving website.

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