Charity yompers blown off course

Pictured with Ian Richardson and daughter Ava are fellow Walkers(left to right) Mark Little, Richie Defty and Keith Jackson

Pictured with Ian Richardson and daughter Ava are fellow Walkers(left to right) Mark Little, Richie Defty and Keith Jackson

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A GRIEVING DAD who planned to climb five mountains in four days for charity has encountered his first hurdle.

Hartlepool businessman Ian Richardson planned to yomp up Britain’s five biggest mountains just months after a crash killed two members of his family and left him severely injured.

Ben Nevis and Helvellyn have already been successfully tackled on Monday and Tuesday, and then Ian and his fellow climbers reached the summit of Scafell before turning their attentions to Scafell Pike on Wednesday.

But their hopes of success were scuppered when they faced 60mph winds and driving rain.

Ian, who won an award for Inspiration in the Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards, said: “We were being buffeted all over the place. Even when we were standing next to each other, we were having to shout to make ourselves heard. There were vertical drops of 1,000ft and we had to decide not to go ahead.

“We did not want to risk our lives or the lives of people who would have had to come and rescue us.

“It wasn’t for the lack of trying, but Mother Nature decided we shouldn’t do it.”

The men then drove to Wales where they were planning to tackle Mount Snowdon – the final part of their mega challenge.

Ian, who runs a marketing and communications company at Queens Meadow in Hartlepool, said the whole experience had been memorable yet exhausting.

“It is not what I was expecting at all. It is much harder. It is really good and very enjoyable, but I am aching all over. There are parts of me hurting that I did not know could hurt.”

Ian, 38, suffered four smashed ribs, a popped rib cage, a bruised lung and heart, whiplash, broken toes and cuts in an accident on the A1 last August which claimed the life of his wife Joanne, 40, and daughter Mya, six.

Ian, who lives in Billingham, spent a week in Newcastle General Hospital, followed by physiotherapy and counselling immediately after the accident.

Then, on his return home, his injuries were still so severe he could barely walk the 300 yards to the bottom of his street.

Now, eight months on, he can walk for 12 miles. Ian is fundraising for two charities.

The money raised will be split between the Royal Marines Charitable Trust, and a memorial fund for Joanne and Mya which will help support children who have lost loved ones.

Once they have completed the feat, the men will return home to join friends and family on a mini yomp up Roseberry Topping tomorrow. Ian’s daughter Ava, now 11 months, will join in the challenge.

Application forms for the mini yomp are available by logging onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link.