Skipton conductor hitting the high notes

Artistic director of Skipton Camerata prepares to run the Bob Graham running challenge to raise money for the outreach orchestra. Picture shows Ben in training on the White Hills near Stirton

Artistic director of Skipton Camerata prepares to run the Bob Graham running challenge to raise money for the outreach orchestra. Picture shows Ben in training on the White Hills near Stirton

First published in News
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BEN Crick, artistic director of Skipton Building Society Camerata, is hoping he can "Handel" his latest challenge – scaling more than 40 Lake District peaks in 24 hours.

Ben, who lives in Cononley, will set out today in an attempt to complete the Bob Graham Round to raise money for the orchestra's community outreach programme which supports young people and adults who want to participate in musical projects across Craven.

The 72-mile round - which takes in Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Scafell and Scafell Pike at about 3,000 feet each - is considered by many to be one of the most demanding tests of endurance for an amateur mountaineer or athlete.

Ben said: “As an enthusiastic amateur mountaineer I've always wanted to have a go at the Bob Graham Round but I know it's going to be a mammoth challenge for me. If I make it I will have made a total ascent that is greater than the height of Mount Everest from sea level in a ridiculously tight time period and hopefully raised some money to fund amateur music making in the Dales.

"It's a winner – my twin passions, music and mountaineering, coming together in one project."

Ben started a tailor-made training programme about a year ago. “It's been really important to stick to a varied training programme – I've been doing a combination of long cycle rides, gym workouts, running and regular timed Yorkshire Three Peaks challenges to build up stamina.”

He added: “What attracts me to the Bob Graham Round is that there is a genuine chance that I will fail to do it – somehow its appeal lies in the fact that most people who attempt it, don't make it.”

Ben will be joined by seven members of the Camerata's Choral Society, who working as a relay team, will begin to walk as many of the peaks on the Bob Graham Round as they can.

“It's going to be a brilliant experience for the whole team – and great for me to have such support from the seven choral society members," said Ben. "If all goes to plan, we will complete the ascent of 100 peaks in less than 100 hours – which would be really cool.”

The team has set up a Just Giving page to make it easy for anyone who is interested to sponsor them – all you have to do is text HPHH14 followed by the amount you want to give to the number 70070.

Alternatively, you can make a bank transfer for a fixed amount to Skipton Camerata Limited, sort code 40 42 06, account number 71487728, or make a payment through Camerata's Just Giving page on the internet.

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