A group of fourteen triumphant trekkers – including nine residents from Oldham and Saddleworth – completed an arduous five-day trek through the mountains and fjords of Norway to raise money for Francis House Children’s Hospice.
Revd David Ireland, a minister in Oldham and chief executive officer of Francis House, his wife Judith and Doctor Andrew Taylor of the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team were among six members of the group to reach the summit of Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain – the six having a combined age of 406.
The group endured long days, trudging over challenging terrain travelling between cabins in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park, which translates as ‘Home of the Giants’. True to its name, the area is home to hundreds of imposing mountains and huge glaciers.
“It was an extremely hard trek; much of the trekking was bouldering – walking from rock to rock. The first day was the toughest, with 12 hours of walking. Despite the average age being in the late sixties, everybody completed the trek. Norway was a wonderful country, and the people were really pleasant and welcoming.”
Electricity and running water were in very short supply at the most remote cabin along the journey, where participants washed in an icy lake and ate by candlelight. The trek concluded with a picturesque final hike overlooking Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, followed by a celebratory dinner in a fjord-side hotel, where the trekkers could finally enjoy some much-needed rest and recuperation.
Prior to the trek, participants were busy organising fundraising activities such as afternoon tea, craft market stalls and bucket collections to help them achieve their sponsorship target.
The trek is expected to raise approximately £15,000. Donations can still be made here.