11-year-old Jack conquers huge charity trek through mountains

Jack and Robert Blackham's trek of the Haute route

Jack and Robert Blackham's trek of the Haute route - Credit: Archant

It is a bucket list challenge not for the faint hearted.

Jack Blackham during the trek.

Jack Blackham during the trek. - Credit: Archant

But 11-year-old Jack Blackham took the 115 miles and 12,000 metre ascent of the Haute route in his stride when his father, Robert, took him climbing last month to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The challenge runs from the foot of Mount Blanc to Zurmatt, Switzerland, and involves climbing one and a half times the height of Everest.

The pair, from Beccles, set out on August 4 for a 12-day hike, and despite some dicey moments, Mr Blackham was always confident his son was up to the test.

“It was fairly exhausting,” said the 45-year-old. “There were a few times where the path really narrows and clings to the side of the mountains where I got a little worried. I kept on telling him to concentrate and he made it.”


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Mr Blackham said the trip had helped his son grow and changed the whole family dynamic.

“He loved the whole experience. It was one of those trips where the father son relationship changed to one of being mates and helping each other out,” he said.

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“As soon as we got home he would start winding his sister up again and it changed straight back.

“It’s probably something he doesn’t realise but it’s given him an inner confidence.”

The journey ended as the Blackhams erected a flag at the foot of the Matterhorn for the charity they were there to support.

“There was a moment when we were unfurling the flag and a couple saw us,” said Mr Blackham. “They came up and said they wanted to give us £10. They said the hospital was brilliant when they were looking after their daughter, who sadly didn’t make it.

“Right at the end of the trip that reminded us why we were doing it in the first place.”

So far the pair have raised close to £800.

To sponsor them visit www.justgiving.com/eblackham

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