Galloway Mountain Rescue support US 5 Peaks challenge adventure

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The Galloway Mountain Rescue team is supporting intrepid Stewartry fundraisers Roan Ballantine and Donald Newbery as they set out on a five-month 5 Peak Challenge in an effort to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The two friends leave Castle Douglas to start their ambitious fundraising effort on 18th March when they tackle the iconic highest peak in the United Kingdom, Ben Nevis. They then fly out to the United States to travel across the country bagging four significant North American peaks along the way.

Roan Ballantine said: “We’ve both experienced first-hand the devastating effects of cancer and we are determined to try and tackle something challenging to raise money for a charity so close to our heart’s. We have chosen the mountains we will climb with the assistance of John Biggar an international mountain guide and former member of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team”.

The team have provided protective clothing from their official kit, first aid supplies, ration packs and high energy drinks. We’ve also loaned them a GPS receiver as a safeguard, so they don’t get lost.

The four peaks US they will summit during their five month trip will be: Mount St Helens - a volcanic beast at 8365ft, snow-capped and covered in harsh volcanic debris, it is one of Washington’s most recent nightmares as it erupted in 1980.

The Matterhorn - a distant relative of the Swiss mountain, this peaks sits at 9826ft and is the 6th highest in Oregon. Known for its limestone cliffs and unspoilt countryside it is known as the most beautiful area in the west.

Mount Charity - Oregon’s 3rd highest mountain sits at 10358ft and this will be their highest climb. It is a well hiked path but difficult. It is also a volcano but has not erupted in the last 2000 years so fingers crossed.

Peak ‘Five’ remains a secret for now, and will only be revealed to those who follow Roan and Donald via their Facebook page.

They’ll even tackle a 350 mile cycle from Portland to San Francisco.

David Tyson, Depute Team Leader said: “We are delighted to support Roan and Donald in this fundraising adventure. We’ve spent time honing their hill-craft and navigation skills and provided them with a range of protective clothing and other essential equipment to save them significant expense. This

is a tremendous challenge they have set themselves, and we hope our assistance will make the journey safe, comfortable and enjoyable.”

Roan said: “We are extremely grateful for the support the team have provided. We have acted as casualties on the hillside on a cold dark winters night for a rescue exercise and then as casualties for their Casualty Care Training and really appreciate what these guys do for the community. Providing us with training and equipment is just the icing on the cake.”

At the time of writing, they have raised over £2450. You can support their self-funded adventure and help them raise money for Cancer Research UK by donating online at www.justgiving.com/5-Peaks-Challenge-CRUK and you can follow their adventure on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/5peakschallengeCRUK.

For more information about the voluntary activities of Galloway MRT including details of incidents, training, walk routes and much more, visit www.gallowaymrt.org.uk.