Families are being invited to explore Borrowdale’s surrounding landscape, as part of a free walk and talk being led by the record-breaking young adversity adventurer, author and YHA ambassador Alex Staniforth.
The 23-year-old made headlines after twice attempting to climb to the summit of Mount Everest in his teens, raising over £85,000 for charity in the process, and is now established as a bona fide endurance athlete.
Crediting his love of the outdoors with overcoming his own mental health problems, YHA’s young ambassador will be taking people on the accessible three hour walk up Castle Crag to Millican Dalton’s Cave and the surrounding forests.
Organised by YHA Borrowdale, the Fells to Everest event is being held on Sunday 19th August.
As well as the walk, Alex will also be hosting a talk at the Youth Hostel on Sunday 19th August. Alex will share his dramatic experiences of his two Everest attempts and his Climb the UK charity challenge last summer, which saw him climb to the highest point of all 100 UK counties by human power in 72 days.
Alex commented: “With my passion for the outdoors and inspiring others to achieve their own Everest in life, it will be a great opportunity to combine both aspects and reach out to young people with the chance to experience the Lake District at YHA Borrowdale like myself all those years ago.”
His story is all the more remarkable given that he was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of nine, a development which also led to bullying, depression and panic attacks. The Lake District holds a special place in Alex’s heart as it was here that he discovered his love of the outdoors.
He explains: “I was about 14, hillwalking in the Lake District with my friend. We headed out to the tiny village of Kentmere and walked to the reservoir, hidden in the middle of nowhere in a valley with peaks all around. The tranquillity of the location had a profound effect on me and opened my mind up to all sorts of possibilities of things I could discover on my own home turf.”
YHA (England and Wales) appointed Alex as an ambassador in 2016, recognising his embodiment of the YHA spirit. He’s now bringing his inspirational stories to YHA as part of his ambassador role and helping young people and their families discover the outdoors.
Rhys Morris, Deputy Manager at YHA Borrowdale, who has organised the event, explained: “We’re really excited about the Fells to Everest event and we’re delighted to host Alex. He’s a really inspirational speaker who never fails to motivate people of all ages.
“The whole day is completely family friendly – the walk will be up Castle Crag and we’ll explore Millican Dalton’s cave and the surrounding forest, too. The inclusivity and family-focus of this event is everything that YHA stands for – bringing young people and their families together in the outdoors to broaden their horizons gaining knowledge and independence through new experiences of adventure and discovery.”
The walk departs the Youth Hostel at 10am on Sunday 19th August and the talk is being held at the hostel from 7pm on Sunday evening. As part of the event, Alex will be donating a signed copy of his book Icefall to be part of a raffle, with all proceeds going to YHA.
The event is open to everyone, however places are limited and booking for both the walk and talk is recommended.
To book a stay at any one of YHA’s 19 youth hostels in the Lake District, visit YHA.org.uk.