MASSIVE congratulations and thank you to 12 year old Rowan Purrett who on 16th March 2019 completed his 79 Peaks in 79 Weeks challenge for Karibuni. He began on his 11th birthday (September 2017) and the peaks had to be a Graham, Corbett or Munro. The final peak was 765m high Sgurr Beag and was a big challenge because of the snowy conditions.
This is a unique achievement and we at Karibuni Children are most grateful to Rowan and his parents for choosing to raise funds to support our work amongst the poorest of the poor in Kenya. We are proud to be associated with this amazing enterprise.
Rowan has raised over £6,000 for Karibuni Children. We are most grateful to all who have sponsored Rowan. The good news is that if you haven’t done so yet, it’s not too late! Here’s the link to his fundraising page:
Rowan had planned to finish in style by climbing Ben Nevis, but adverse weather conditions on that mountain in recent weeks have ruled it out. The alternative peak he chose to climb was not exactly easy, as his final report shows:
“I have done it!! Yesterday I climbed the last peak (Sgurr Beag 765m, corbett top) – yahooooo! It was quite a snowy day, (surprisingly snowy) …and got snowier – but thankfully again someone else had broken the trail. There was a bit less of a top than we were expecting when we got up there but the ridge to it was very exciting with an amazing cornice which we were careful not to walk on. It was definitely a day for crampons and ice axes. We were joined by a friend, Kevin (who travelled all the way from Inverness to meet us) and his two lovely black labradors who were a little bit unsure on the ridge – and they had 4 legs!
I’m really relieved and excited about having finished, but no, I have no plans yet for another challenge. I have really loved the snowy hills that I have done most, as I get to use equipment and its more technical. That’s why I liked the scrambling routes best too. I hated wet raining days full of cloud and wind which there have been far too many of. I feel good that I have done something to raise money to help other children and would like to thank you all for helping me do it.”
Here’s a great video about Rowan, put together when he was half way through his target number of peaks:
Read previous updates on Rowan’s progress here:
“I did my 78th peak on 19th February, so I have just one left, yayyyyy! The peak was the Pap of Glencoe, a Graham of 2,434 ft. We finished it in record time – 3 hours and 30 mins, probably the shortest peak so far – which is perhaps appropriate as the last peak I plan to climb is Ben Nevis, which is likely to be quite a long day!
We weren’t sure it was going to be very pleasurable as it was raining when we set off and the forecast was not great, but it turned out okay and it was surprisingly busy – we saw at least a dozen people despite the grey day.
We did see a cool stone which looked like a “thumbs up”, some great views of Ballachullish and glimpses of the Aonach Eagach ridge through the cloud.”
“On 2nd January I did peak 72 &73 at the west end of the 5 sisters (Sgurr na Moraich 876m (Corbett) & Beinn Bhuidhe 869m (Corbett top). I felt like I had been up them before because they are all beginning to look the same to me and all the walks are merging in my memory. The day was very cold, but fortunately it wasn’t that much colder higher up the mountain. As we went up, the path was covered in glassy ice so we had to ice skate up hill. Fortunately by the time we came back down the ice had melted a bit. On top of peak 72 there were some amazing lochans, frozen into extraordinary patterns, and some of them were collapsing in on themselves and one of them had ice so thick I think you could have ice skated on it. One collapsed in on itself with a loud boom. The wind was a bit chilly having lunch, but fortunately we had extra hot chocolate and chocolate orange. Roll on Ben Nevis!”
“Yesterday I completed Peak 17 (which was my first peak in 2018). It is called Ben Aslak, in South Skye near Kylerhea and just counted as a Graham being 610m high… Ben Aslak was my favourite peak so far, mainly because it was so snowy. It was well below freezing and I think the wind chill was probably about minus 12 degrees C! Crampons could have been useful because the snow was quite icy in places, but this was good fun as we had to kick our feet through the ice layers to climb up.”
“On Sunday I did the second lot of 5 peaks in on the South Shiel Ridge: Sgurr Corie na feinne (902m Corbett top), Sgurr an Doire Leathain (1010m Munro), Sgurr an Lochain (1004m Munro), Sgurr Beag (896m Corbett top), Creag nan Damh (918m Munro). It was really hot, but weirdly there was still snow, which I filled my hat with to keep me cool.”
“I climbed up Bla Bheinn yesterday which was Peaks 39 and 40 – which means I have passed half way and only have 39 peaks left to do! We had cameraman Mike up there with us filming for Karen Darke. He had a drone which was really cool and he did some filming with it. It sounded like a swarm of wasps following us down the hill. My favourite part was traversing in between the North peak and the South peak because there was some amazing rock climbing to do. We took my great grandad’s altimeter up the mountain, which worked better than Mike’s drone on top as it wasn’t affected by the electromagnetism of the rocks.”
“In the last week I have climbed 4 peaks; the first set of three were near the Forcan Ridge on the south side of Glen Sheil, and the latest peak was on Rum (called Askival). I have now climbed 54 Peaks, which means I am more than 2/3 of the way to my target.
The group of 3 in Glen Sheil were: Faochag (909m) Corbett Top, Sgurr na Sgine (945m) Munro and Sgurr a’Bhac Chaolais (885m) Corbett. It started off really nice weather and was scorching hot on the way up (I had to wet my buff to keep me cool) but just a few minutes later as we reached the top of Faochag we were hit by a very hard hail shower and suddenly we were cold and wet very quickly. On the top of Sgurr na Sgine we saw more people than we have on any other mountain in Scotland (7 people) – it was like there was a planned meeting! We were lucky to find some fabulous giant bilberries on the way to the last peak of the day, which we had to stop and eat.
The latest adventure was a trip to Rum (Askival, 812m, Corbett). Friends of ours (Becky and Paul) very kindly offered to take us to on their boat so we could climb Askival. We had hoped to do more than one peak, but the weather was really unpleasant (very cloudy and drizzle all day!). Close to Rum we saw a basking shark, which was very exciting. We landed on a deserted beach (where Becky found a ball for her dog, Corrie). On the walk up we saw lots of HUGE spiders on the rocks and trees which scared Mark and Corrie walked through the webs! Navigation was quite hard as we had to take compass bearings to make sure we took the right route, as we simply could not see where we were going – a great shame as I am sure the views from the top of Askival would be amazing. On our way back to Kinloch we saw lots of deer, one of which seemed to be spying on us as it kept looming out of the mist.”
“Two more peaks climbed on Sunday, 28th October. A very beautiful day spent on Skye in the Cuillin: bright sunshine, cold and calm with a little snow (which added to the excitement of the walk/ scramble). It was really nice to have another friend, Kat, join us for the day to share the adventure (and also help us with the tricky bits of the route!). We are now inspired to have a go at some more of the Cuillin peaks, which until now have seemed a bit intimidating, but perhaps Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir, or maybe (with the right support) even the Inaccessible Pinnacle might be achievable….”