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Ben Nevis Challenge 2014

About

26–28 September 2014

Celebrate 10 years of the Breast Cancer Care Ben Nevis Challenge with us!

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Our places are currently full for our 10th anniversary Ben Nevis Challenge. If you would like to take part, please complete the application form to be added to the waiting list and we will let you know as soon as possible if we are able to offer you a place.

In 2014 we’ll be celebrating 10 years since our first Ben Nevis Challenge and we’d love you to join in by taking on Britain’s highest mountain with us. To celebrate we've reduced your entry fee to only £50, inclusive of two-night's accommodation.

The Ben Nevis Challenge totals a little over nine miles of trekking (up the mountain and back down again) and after a day on the majestic mountain, you’ll certainly feel proud and inspired by what you have achieved.

Just imagine standing at the top of Ben Nevis looking over the beautiful Western Highlands – magnificent!  But now imagine it again thinking about all the people affected by breast cancer you could help by getting there and it becomes even more amazing.

Entry fee: only £50 including

  • Two nights accommodation at a comfortable hotel in one of Scotland's most beautiful settings
  • All meals
  • Return coach transfers from Glasgow International Airport or Glasgow Central Train station to our hotel
  • Guiding team and medical provision for the Ben Nevis Challenge
  • Celebration party and a certificate of achievement
  • A fantastic weekend away!

Minimum sponsorship: £500

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'Thanks for an amazing experience. The photos are good but don't do justice to just how breath taking the views were. There were many metaphorical mountains being climbed last weekend as well as Ben Nevis and the support team made sure all our goals were reached.'
Amanda, 2013

'A fantastic experience and I met some really nice people along the way. I was so proud to be part of the Ben Nevis challenge and would like to thank Breast Cancer Care for organising this event. Everything they did from start to finish was superb.'
Mark, 2013

How we will support you as part of Team Breast Cancer Care:

  • a support pack full of fundraising and training advice
  • a Breast Cancer Care T-shirt to wear on your challenge
  • support and advice from a dedicated member of the Breast Cancer Care challenges team
  • regular newsletters and emails to keep you updated
  • a dedicated facebook page to chat to other Ben Nevis trekkers
  • fundraising materials to help you including balloons, banners and collection tins
  • 15 per cent off at Cotswold Outdoor.

This challenge is open only to those raising money for Breast Cancer Care.

We hope to welcome you to Team Breast Cancer Care very soon!

Apply for the waiting list

Itinerary

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Please note that all timings given are subject to change due to factors such as weather and traffic.

Day before the challenge – Friday 26 September

1:30 pm – 2.00 pm      Coaches leave Glasgow Central railway station and Glasgow International airport for the hotel
6.00 pm                       Arrive at hotel in Fort William
7.00 pm                       Briefing followed by evening meal

Day of the challenge – Saturday 27 September
6.00 am           Breakfast
7.15 am           Depart for the mountain by coach
8.30 am           Start ascent of Ben Nevis
1.00 pm           We reach the summit (weather permitting)*
5.30 pm           Reach the base of Ben Nevis and travel back to the hotel via coach
7.30 pm          Celebration meal

*Please note, the above times on the mountain are an approximate guide, and could change due to weather conditions, walking time etc.

Day after the challenge – Sunday 28 September
7:30 am                       Breakfast
9:00 am                       Coaches depart hotel
1.30 pm – 2.30pm       Coaches arrive at Glasgow International airport and Glasgow Central railway station*

* Please note the arrival time in Glasgow if you are booking a train or flight home and allow plenty of time for check in or ticket collection.

Join our team

Register for 2014

Enquire

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We’re excited to be celebrating 10 years of the Breast Cancer Care Ben Nevis Challenge in 2014 and we’d love you to join us.  Sign up today to take on the challenge and celebrate with us 26 – 28 September 2014.

Costs and fundraising   

Non-refundable registration fee: £50

Minimum sponsorship: £500

What is included in the cost of the event?

  • Two nights accommodation at a comfortable hotel in one of Scotland's most beautiful settings
  • All meals
  • Return coach transfers from Glasgow International Airport or Glasgow Central Train station to our hotel
  • Guiding team and medical provision for the Ben Nevis Challenge
  • Celebration party and a certificate of achievement
  • A fantastic weekend away!

You will also receive:

  • a Breast Cancer Care T-shirt
  • a handbook with training guides, full event details, kit requirements and sponsorship and fundraising information
  • advice and support from a dedicated member of the Breast Cancer Care challenge team

What is not included?

  • Your travel to and from Glasgow International Airport or Glasgow Central train station
  • Drinks
  • Your spending money
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Your walking kit

When do I have to pay my sponsorship money?

The £500 minimum sponsorship must be received by Breast Cancer Care by Friday 31 October 2014 with £200 of this being with us four weeks before the departure date. This does not include Gift Aid. You will be contacted after this date if minimum sponsorship is not received.

If you would like to register for the challenge, please fill in the online form, email challenges@breastcancercare.org.uk or call the team on 0845 092 0805.

Terms and conditions

Training

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Training is essential to your challenge preparation. The more you put in, the more enjoyable your experience will be! We have designed a training plan to help you on your way.

Before you start remember that your body may need time to adjust to your new fitness regime. We recommend that you ideally start your training plan no less than six months before you start your challenge. Within your training programme, rest is as important as time spent on your feet. We strongly recommend that you rest on at least one day out of seven. When training, make sure your stick within the limits of speed and distance that are comfortable for you.

If you live near hills, use them for your training as much as possible to prepare your muscles for doing lots of upward walking. If you don’t have any hills near you, use the incline setting on a treadmill or visit hilly places for your weekend walks to practice.

Top tips for training

3195 To ensure that you are comfortable when walking long distances, you must pay attention to your posture and gait. Walk correctly, and at the end of the day's walk you will have sturdy, albeit tired legs, ready for the following day.

  • Stand tall and keep your head up.
  • Take a natural stride length and walk with poles if you find them useful
  • Keep your back straight when coming downhill.
  • Shorten your stride when walking uphill.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Integrate aerobic exercise – try spinning, swimming and jogging.
  • Wear your walking boots and socks as much as possible, to ensure you are comfortable on the trek.

If you have not exercised for a long time we recommend your see your doctor before you start your new training plan. Don’t overdo it and make sure you keep your plan varied and fun!

The training plan includes information on diet and keeping hydrated both during your training and while on your challenge.

Download training tips 

Fundraising

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Reaching your fundraising target can be a challenge, but don’t worry as we have some useful tips to help you plan and coordinate your fundraising.

Check out our seasonal fundraising ideas to ensure that your fundraising is fresh and on trend.

Winter fundraising tips

Spring fundraising tips

Summer fundraising tips

Autumn fundraising tips

Social networks

Remember, it’s your network of friends, family, colleagues and contacts who will support you with your training and fundraising. Keep them updated every step of the way with your Facebook profile, blog or Twitter account.  

Tell them how your training is going (with pictures for added impact) and let them know how you’re getting on with your fundraising target. You can even upload pictures on the day to show everyone your progress along the route! If you follow Breast Cancer Care on Facebook and Twitter, we’ll keep you up to date with the goings-on here, and keep you on track with support and tips.

Fundraising materials

Download your very own fundraising planner to follow to ensure that your fundraising activities run as smoothly as possible.

Use this downloadable poster to promote your fundraising events.

Online fundraising

Now you can raise sponsorship without all the hassle. No more dealing with cash and cheques, no more chasing friends after the event. Simply create a free, online fundraising page, personalise it with a photo and message, and email it to your friends, family and work colleagues. They can donate quickly and securely online with a credit or debit card. Online donations from UK taxpayers are worth almost a third more to us with Gift Aid, which can be claimed on online donations. Follow the instructions to set up your unique JustGiving page.

Once you’ve created your page, email the link to friends, family, colleagues and classmates. You can even add the JustGiving application to your Facebook page to make it even easier for your friends to donate.

For more information or help setting up your page, visit www.justgiving.com or call the Justgiving helpdesk on 0845 021 2110.

Please note: JustGiving money will only be attributed to the person who set up the Justgiving page. So please don'tt set up joint pages as we are unable to share the money between several people.

How do I pay in my sponsorship?

  There are few ways in which your sponsorship money will reach us:

JustGiving

If you have decided to create a Justgiving fundraising page, then you do not need to do anything as all your sponsorship money will automatically be sent directly to our bank account. Please note that it can take up to four weeks to show up on your fundraising record at Breast Cancer Care.

Cheque

Please send all cheques to the address below:

Breast Cancer Care Events,
5 – 13 Great Suffolk Street,
London, SE1 0NS

Don’t forget to write your name, Breast Cancer Care number and event name on the back of your cheques.

Online

You can also pay money in directly on the Breast Cancer Care website. If you use our online paying in function then please remember to send us your sponsorship forms so that we can claim Gift Aid.

Enclosed in your event handbook pack, which you will receive when you register for your event, will be your pay-in forms. You can send them to us along with your sponsorship money and sponsorship forms. Please do not send cash in the post.

Over the phone

If you want to pay in sponsorship money over the phone, you call 0845 092 0817 Monday to Friday 9am–5pm. You will need to quote your Breast Cancer Care ID number, which will be sent to you in your registration pack.

Once you join Team Breast Cancer Care we will provide you with further fundraising tips and ideas!

FAQs

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Questions

How fit should I be?
Who can take part in the Ben Nevis Challenge?
What support is available for this event?
How many people will I be walking with?
How long will it take to walk up and down Ben Nevis?
What will the pace of walking be like?
Are there many stops on the mountain?
What is the terrain like?
Is it steep?
How will I get there?
What is the accommodation like?
What weather can I expect?
What kit will I require?
What is included in the cost of the event?
What is not included?
Do I need insurance?
When do I have to sign up by?
How will I raise the sponsorship money?
How much of my sponsorship money will go to Breast Cancer Care?
When do I have to pay my sponsorship money?

Answers

How fit should I be?

The event suits people of average fitness and stamina, but we recommend you begin to train and prepare in order for you to enjoy this challenge.

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Who can take part in the Ben Nevis Challenge?

The Ben Nevis Challenge is open to women and men of all abilities. The minimum age to take part is 16 years, and those under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult. We request that there is at least one adult present for every two participants under 18.

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What support is available for this event?

Breast Cancer Care staff and the event organising team will meet you on the coaches at Glasgow Central train station or Glasgow International Airport and transfer you to our hotel near to Fort William for the duration of the event.

On the day of the Ben Nevis ascent, in addition to Breast Cancer Care staff, the tour organiser for this challenge provides a leader and guides - all of whom are experienced mountaineers and qualified first aiders.

Rest assured all necessary safety procedures are in place. All the guides carry radios during the day of our ascent and communicate regularly throughout the day.

Participants will be divided into walking groups with one guide leading and one guide at the rear. In the interests of safety, no one should pass the lead or fall behind the last guide and any instructions given by the guides must be followed at all times for safety reasons.

Although the event is designed to challenge you, we are not putting anyone’s safety at risk and support will be available at all times. The Breast Cancer Care team is on hand every step of the way, to help and advise you.

Breast Cancer Care staff will also accompany you on your return journey to Glasgow after your challenge.

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How many people will I be walking with?

We take groups of around 100 people. On the day of the challenge we split walkers into smaller groups of approximately 20 people. In the interest of health and safety everyone walks as a group.

Each group is allocated a guide/s and a Breast Cancer Care staff member. There are no fast or slow groups and everyone comes off the mountain as a group.

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How long will it take to walk up and down Ben Nevis?

We expect it to take around four to five hours to reach the summit of Ben Nevis and then three to four hours to go down, meaning you will be on the mountain for most of the day.

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What will the pace of walking be like?

The pace set will be accommodating for all. This challenge will not be enjoyable if you rush it. The level of fitness will naturally vary throughout the group, therefore whatever pace you adopt you can be sure of company.

The group will be encouraged to work together, with stronger walkers helping those who may be slower. The guides will ensure the group stays together and everyone has a great day, making sure everyone completes this challenge they have chosen to do for Breast Cancer Care.

In the interest of safety, participants are not allowed to walk in front of the lead guide or fall behind the last guide. Please note that the pace set by the guides provides the event organiser enough time to get everyone to the summit safely and back down again before it gets dark.

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Are there many stops on the mountain?

We will have regular rest stops throughout the day at appropriate places. As it is quite a long day, you are encouraged to walk at your own comfortable pace.

The most important piece of advice on the day is that you keep taking on fluids at regular intervals. We also recommend that you eat plenty of energy snacks, e.g. nuts, biscuits and fruit in order to maintain those vital energy levels throughout the day as well as adjusting your clothing appropriately. Have extra warm layers for the summit, even if the weather at the bottom is good.

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What is the terrain like?

The first half of our route is what you would expect from a moderate mountain walk. Though we do follow a clear path, at some points the terrain is uneven and can get slippery after heavy rain.

In the second part of the ascent, the path turns into a series of rocky steps and - as you gain height - the path becomes less defined and uneven. This is when extra care is needed, especially on the descent.

After passing a waterfall, the last part of our ascent follows a zig-zag route up the rounded dome of the upper mountain; this section becomes increasingly uneven and rocky underfoot with some loose stones and boulders.

The summit approach is like a lunar landscape. On a clear day the views open out to the north, west and south are simply stunning. After the zigzags the summit is just a little way now, over loose rubble as we make our final push to reach the top.

Then we reach the summit and it is time to take a group photo of us all. We can see the ruins of the observatory built in 1883. The top of Ben Nevis is very flat, and big enough for two football pitches. It is not the traditional mountain peak you imagine, and the actual highest point is the cairn - you will have to take your turn to stand on the top of the highest point in the UK and get your photo taken.

After a break, it will be time to start making our way down. Coming down won't require as much stamina as going up, but it is still very hard and trying on your legs.

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Is it steep?

Our route is mostly a gradual ascent, but there are some short steeper sections - after all we are climbing Britain’s highest mountain!

Take your time, and if you feel out of breath or in need of a rest, take one. We want to ensure everyone gets to appreciate the magnificent scenery unfolding around them and take as many photos as they like.

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How will I get there?

The weekend is all arranged for you. All you have to do is make your own way to Glasgow. Once there, Breast Cancer Care staff will collect you by coach from Glasgow Central train station or Glasgow International Airport. We will take you to Fort William and to your accommodation for the weekend. When the challenge is over we will drop you back in Glasgow. Alternatively, you can meet us in Fort William.

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What is the accommodation like?

We stay in three or four star hotels in Fort William for two nights. You will be sharing a room with an ensuite-bathroom. Rooms are twin and double occupancy with a small number of single rooms, which carry single supplement charges, should one be requested. Rooms are based on single sex occupancy; couples where possible will be kept together.

Single rooms carry a supplement charge should they be requested. We will ask you as our challenge date approaches whether there is someone in particular you would like to share a room with.

Most people come to these events on their own. Taking part in events such as these are a great way to meet new people and have proven in the past to build long standing friendships. For those of you arriving on your own, Breast Cancer Care will endeavor to pair you up with another walker of the same sex and similar age.

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What weather can I expect?

As with any outdoor event, we are unable to predict the weather so each participant must be prepared for all eventualities. You will need to carry full wet weather gear and warm layers with you on the day of the challenge.

The weather conditions at the bottom of the mountain may be vastly different to what we can expect at the top. In the past we have encountered everything from sunshine, snow and rain. A detailed weather forecast will be provided for us during the welcome briefing the day before our ascent.

Should there be adverse weather conditions, we reserve the right to cancel or change the route for safety reasons.

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What kit will I require?

When you sign up we will send you our recommended kit list for this challenge. The main items you will need to bring with you are a comfortable pair of walking boots or trainers with ankle support, walking socks, a full set of good waterproofs and plenty of thin warm layers.

On the day of the challenge, you will need to carry your own personal kit for the day in a small rucksack which will include: your lunch, water, waterproofs, warm layers, hat and gloves, mini first aid kit, camera and phone (to call all your sponsors from the top – signal permitting). All your other luggage will remain in your hotel room.

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What is included in the cost of the event?

  • Two nights accommodation at a comfortable hotel in one of Scotland's most beautiful settings.
  • All meals.
  • Return coach transfers from Glasgow International Airport or Glasgow Central Train station to our hotel.
  • Guiding team and medical provision for the Ben Nevis Challenge.
  • Celebration party and a certificate of achievement.
  • A fantastic weekend away!

You will also receive:

  • a Breast Cancer Care T-shirt.
  • a handbook with training guides, full event details, kit requirements and sponsorship and fundraising information.

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What is not included?

  • Your travel to and from Glasgow International Airport or Glasgow Central train station.
  • Drinks.
  • Your spending money.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Personal items from the kit list.

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Do I need insurance?

Breast Cancer Care strongly advise all participants to take out their own insurance to cover them for the duration of this event as Breast Cancer Care will not be held responsible for any accident, loss, damage or expenses etc.

Due to the nature of this outdoor activity, participants should accept a certain element of risk. Our guides will do everything in their power to minimise the risks, where possible. In the interests of safety all participants must abide by any decisions made by the guides.

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When do I have to sign up by?

Participants enter on a first come first served basis and entries will close on Monday 11 August 2014 or once the event participant limit is reached for health and safety reasons.

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How will I raise the sponsorship money?

Although we ask you to commit to raising the minimum sponsorship to take part in this challenge, fundraising needn't be daunting or hard work!

Once you start telling people what you're doing and why, you will be amazed at people’s generosity and support. When you sign up we will send you an invaluable fundraising pack bursting with ideas to get you started. This is a great way to meet new people and get in touch with old friends.

All it takes is a little inspiration and organisation and the money will begin to roll in. Think about your hobbies and interests - they could be the key to your success!

A great tip is to break down your sponsorship target into smaller, bite-sized chunks and be proud of what you are doing.

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How much of my sponsorship money will go to Breast Cancer Care?

Your £50 non-refundable registration fee will go towards your event costs and covers Breast Cancer Care’s administration charges for this challenge.

The remaining event costs will be paid from part of your sponsorship money (some people opt to pay for the event costs themselves).

Once the event costs of £180 have been covered, all remaining sponsor money goes to Breast Cancer Care.

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When do I have to pay my sponsorship money?

The £500 minimum sponsorship must be received by Breast Cancer Care by Friday 31 October 2014 with £200 of this being with us four weeks before the departure date. This does not include Gift Aid. You will be contacted after this date if minimum sponsorship is not received.

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Gallery

Blog

Three young women from Gibraltar - Bianca Daniell, Katherine Cassano and Wendy Cumming - are flying to Scotland in September to take part in the Breast Cancer Care Ben Nevis Challenge in loving memory of their friend Nancy.

They’ve made a great start with their training, and sponsorship has been rolling. Bianca has this to say about what they’ve been up to.

...

Post date: 02 July 2013

To take part in the Ben Nevis Challenge people need to raise £500 each. This might seem like a high target so we want to reassure you that fundraising is a lot easier than you might think. And we'll help you every step of the way.

Here are five ideas to get you started so your sponsorship doesn’t have to be a mountain too tough to conquer...

  1. JustGiving page:...
Post date: 11 March 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks for the team working on the Ben Nevis Challenge with nearly 50 people signed up already, support packs sent and coaches booked.

We’ve also been looking over photos from the past few years, which has made us look forward even more to the 2013 event.

...

Post date: 25 February 2013

In anticipation of our Ben Nevis Challenge in September, when we’ll be walking up Britain’s highest mountain with 150 Breast Cancer Care supporters, we’ve been digging out some facts about this majestic mountain.

      The summit of Ben Nevis is the dome of a volcano that collapsed some 350 million years ago.
      The name ‘Ben Nevis’ comes from the Scottish Gaelic name ‘Beinn Nibheis’, meaning ‘...

Post date: 04 February 2013

Imagine standing at the top of Ben Nevis looking over the beautiful Western Highlands – magnificent!

Now imagine it again, this time thinking about all the people affected by breast cancer you could help by getting there. The dream becomes even more amazing.

If you sign up to our Ben Nevis Challenge before the end of January you can save £25 with our early bird offer (registration fee £50 rather than £75). The...

Post date: 23 January 2013