By rosa mcmahon
Monday, November 26, 2012
A doctor and her husband who both turned 50 at the beginning of the year decided to mark the occasion by climbing 50 Peaks in 50 Weeks while taking 50 photographs to raise money for a Norfolk charity.
Nicky and Keith Morris, from Wreningham, started their climbing challenge on New Year’s Day and have now raised £7,000 to help the Mercy Flyers charity carry out 50 life-changing operations for people in rural Zambia.
The charity perform or enable operations such eye surgery, as well as funds to pay for the plane and fuel, surgeries and equipment.
As hill-walking novices, the duo successfully conquered the peaks including the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, the biggest in Wales, Snowdon, well as other peaks in the Lake District, Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons, the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Malvern Hills, the Shropshire Hills and the Cotswolds.
Mr Morris, who works for Archant, the publishers of the EDP, said: “We wanted to mark the birthday milestone in an unusual but worthwhile way and this turned out to be an amazing and memorable year.
“We have walked over 120 miles and climbed more than 95,000ft, which is over three times the height of Mount Everest.”
The final peak was Atalaya De Femes, an extinct volcano on the Spanish island of Lanzarote in the Canaries, a moment which they celebrated in style by popping open a well-deserved bottle of champagne.
The pair said some of the less memorable moments included getting lost in the Yorkshire Dales, Mr Morris suffering with vertigo on a Welsh mountain and refusing to climb any higher, and Mrs Morris falling headfirst into a stream on the penultimate climb.
Mr Morris added: “But the highs have been far higher, literally, than the lows.
“My mind is now turning to what to do to mark our sixtieth birthdays in a decade’s time and I am open to suggestions.”
Mrs Morris, who is a GP at the Hethersett Humbleyard practice, said: “Keith came up with this crazy idea and in a weak moment I agreed to go along with it.
“The work that Mercy Flyers do is really great and has focused my mind in the more difficult moments.”