Wigan schoolboy Elliott's mission to climb highest mountain

For a lot of parents, it is the park or perhaps a toy shop where their child might endlessly beg to visit.

Friday, 7th September 2018, 11:51 am
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 12:56 pm
Gareth, Elliott, Joanne and Justin Hayes at the top of Scafell Pike

So imagine Joanne Hayes’s shock when her five-year-old son told her he wanted to climb the highest mountain in Britain!

Other news: Wigan mum, 46, thanks family and paramedics for saving her lifeYoung Elliott was struck with the idea to scale Ben Nevis following a family hike earlier in the summer.

“We take regular walks up Rivington,” said Joanne.

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Elliot at the top of Scafell

It was on one such walk that Elliott told his mum that he would like to climb a mountain.

“It was fantastic that he was so enthusiastic, but it was also a bit daunting because we’d never done anything like this before,” she said.

The family, from Hawkley Hall, eased themselves into the challenge by first climbing Coniston Old Man and then Mount Snowdon - the highest mountain in Wales.

Joanne then told her youngest boy about Ben Nevis, explaining to him that it was the highest mountain in the British Isles.

And rather than being deterred by learning how difficult it would be, the budding young climber was instead even more excited to get going.

And so with husband Gareth and Elliott’s 15-year-old brother Justin, the family set about completing the Three Peaks Challenge.

They ticked Ben Nevis off the list in July, completing the climb and descent in just over seven hours.

Joanne said: “He’s only five, so it’s a massive achievement!

“It was quality family time, it was a really fun experience.”

And everyone’s been full of praise for Elliott too, the proud mum revealed.

“People have been blown over by how great he’s done. He surprised us, really, but we never for one minute thought he would give up. He was like a mountain goat - he put us all to shame!

“With Ben Nevis, we had very poor visibility and it was very damp. We got about three quarters of the way up and he said he was tired, but we said to persevere. He kept going and he made it to the summit.”

The Hayes family climbed Scafell Pike just last week, completing the Three Peaks challenge.

The family now have their sights set on Helvellyn mountain or the Yorkshire Peaks, only this time with a charitable cause behind their physical feats.

They are aiming to raise money for Kidscan.

Find out more about the fund-raising campaign here