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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Ex-marine to carry washing machines up Lake District peak for charity

A Keswick ex-marine plans to carry a selection of washing machines, fridges and dishwashers up England’s highest mountain.

Dan Appleby photo
Dan Appleby in training

Dan Appleby, 39, will take 10 items of white goods up the 978m (3,209ft) slopes of Scafell Pike. He has recruited 20 former colleagues from as far afield as Cyprus and Spain to help with the epic mission.

Together, they hope to raise £20,000 for Help For Heroes and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF).

Dan, of Penrith Road, said: “It was inspired by an article I read in the Royal Marines magazine, where a guy walked across Dartmoor with a fridge on his back. And because I live in Keswick, I thought I would do something locally.”

They will carry the items using specially-adapted parachute frames, which Dan has been testing on short practice hikes. He and his team expect to reach the top of the fell within about eight hours of setting out on August 27.

He added: “All the guys have carried heavy weights before, but it’s just the awkwardness of the load. The idea is to do a few hundred yards with each one, then swap over before you’re too knackered.”

The challenge is the latest in a series organised by Dan and his friends to raise money for servicemen’s charities. Last year they travelled to Gibraltar for a race where they each carried 12-stone stretchers.

“At the moment there’s a lot of servicemen in Afghanistan, including marines,” he said. “And the wounds that they get and the treatment when they come home arguably isn’t the best. So we wanted to raise money for them.”

The white goods – which are not in working condition – have all been donated by charity Cumbria Recycling. Once the fundraising feat is completed, they will be stripped down and used for parts.

Dan said: “We wanted to use things that were definitely not fixable, so it didn’t matter if they got a bit dented. The average age of the guys taking part is about 40, so we’re not as fit as we used to be!”

These days Dan works in the oil industry, spending three-week stretches at a firm in West Africa. The rest of the time he lives with his wife Suzanne and their 10-month-old son Bert.

With Suzanne’s help, he has already raised more than £2,000 for the charities. To sponsor Dan, visit www.justgiving.com/scafellpikeh4h to donate to Help For Heroes, or www.justgiving.com/scafellpikermctf to donate to the RMCTF.

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