Hillwalkers on Cat Bells during last year's event

Hillwalkers on Cat Bells during last year's event

It’s a classic Lakeland ridge that’s on the to-do list of many hillwalkers.

Striding Edge’s grade-one scramble leading to England’s third-highest mountain is a test of nerve at the best of times; so how about tackling it by night?

Two mountain guides are offering experienced hillwalkers the chance of joining them in a torchlit traverse of the knife-edge ridge and at the same time raise cash for the Lake District’s volunteer rescue teams.

After a successful Catbells Festival of Light last year, Matt Le Voi and John Brooks of Lakeland Mountain Guides will lead the Striding Edge by Torchlight walk next month. Cash raised from participants’ entry fees will go to the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for the 12 Cumbrian teams.

Mr Le Voi said: “As an activity operator it is reassuring to know that should the worst happen and there be an incident with one of our group members that there is substantial help just a phone call away.

“Although we are yet to directly call upon mountain rescue, for this reason we feel we should do something to provide support for such a vital association. As with the Cat Bells event, we like to try and do something which is a little out of the ordinary – so heading up Striding Edge at night fits that bill perfectly,”

Striding Edge, the grade-one scramble leading to Helvellyn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Striding Edge, the grade-one scramble leading to Helvellyn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mr Brooks, who is a serving member of the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team knows how vital these funds can be. He said: “With an ever increasing demand on teams all across the UK, the need for an increase in funding for equipment and training has never been more pertinent.

“With Lakeland Mountain Guides we have a platform to help make this happen.”

The event will take place on 5 November, illuminating the spectacular ridge on Helvellyn as the country’s night skies are lit up by fireworks.

Anyone joining the Striding Edge event should must have a basic level of hill fitness and experience in scrambling on Striding Edge or similar grade-one routes such as Sharp Edge or Hall’s Fell Ridge on Blencathra, Crib Goch on the Snowdonia massif or Tryfan.

The fee for joining the event will be £50, with profits going the mountain rescue association. The organisers said experienced mountain leaders, many of whom are also mountain rescue volunteers, will be on hand to support the event and safeguard participants.

Anyone wishing to take part in Striding Edge by Torchlight should contact the organisers by email.

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