Norfolk pair aim to climb 50 peaks in 50 weeks
Network Norfolk publisher Keith Morris and wife Nicky have set themselves a crazy-sounding challenge to climb 50 peaks in 50 weeks, to raise enough money to help a Norfolk-based Christian charity carry out 50 life-changing operations for people in rural Zambia.
The couple, who live in Wreningham in South Norfolk, both turn 50 in January and February this year and they have pledged to attempt the challenge to mark the occasion and raise money for the Mercy Flyers charity.
As peak walking novices, over the next 50 weeks the pair plan to climb the highest mountain in England – Scafell Pike - and the biggest in Wales – Snowdon - as well as scores of 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.
All will be at least 1,000ft high and many much more.
“In total, we reckon if we complete the challenge we will have each climbed the height of Everest – twice,” said Keith, who is corporate communications manager for Norwich-based regional media group Archant as well as the Network Norfolk Christian community website publisher.
He said: “It is quite a life-changing time for us. Our two children have recently left home to go to university and we wanted to mark the milestone birthday in an unusual but worthwhile way.
“We are determined to rise to the challenge and hope our family, friends, colleagues and others will want to support a very worthy cause. We will also be inviting our family and friends to join us in climbing a peak or two.”
Nicky, who is a GP in South Norfolk, said: “Keith came up with this crazy idea and in a weak moment I agreed to go along with it. But seriously, the work that Mercy Flyers do is really great and will help focus my mind in the more difficult moments.”
The duo began the challenge on New Year’s Day itself by climbing three of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire and Keith will be writing a column about their adventures for the Let’s Talk magazine as well as for a blog at http://50peaks.wordpress.com/
The pair are trying to raise several thousand pounds to pay for 50 life-changing operations carried out by the Mercy Flyers team, led by former Norfolk doctors Craig and Rae Oranmore-Brown, whom Keith and Nicky met through the Norwich Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
Three years ago they gave up hospital consultant jobs in Norfolk to launch a flying doctors service in Zambia in southern Africa.
The Mercy Flyers team perform or enable life-transforming operations such eye surgery, limb amputations and replacement prosthetic limbs, fistulae operations (for incontinence after childbirth) and the like which, without their efforts, simply would not be available to most people in the vast rural areas of Zambia.
Craig is a pilot and anaesthetist, Rae is a consultant surgeon. They need funds to pay for the plane and fuel, surgeries, operations and equipment. A £30 donation would help pay for a life-changing cataract operation, £85 for a below the knee amputation replacement limb and £270 for a foot amputation replacement limb. Even £2 would help pay for one nautical mile of a medical flight.
Pictured top are Keith and Nicky Morris at the top of the Worcestershire Beacon in the Malvern Hills, the first of the 50 peaks they are aiming to climb over the next 50 weeks.
Above, Craig and Rae Oranmore Brown with a plane in Zambia and Rae operating in Zambia.