I’m currently sitting in Marrakech airport waiting for a delayed flight to Geneva after a fantastic week in Morocco. It’s hard to believe quite how much has happened in the last 8 days, and I’m not quite sure where to start, but I’ll start by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever been so inspired by a bunch of people in my life.
Under the leadership of Nick Hopkinson a team of 24 was assembled to attempt to climb North Africa’s highest peak, Toubkal (4167m), to raise funds for Bolton Lads and Girls Club (which I’m told is the UK’s biggest youth club). I actually went to school with one of Nick’s sons, and I was aware that he was involved with the club, but until this week I didn’t realise just how much time and effort he gives to the cause without ever asking for reward or recognition. A top man.
The rest of the team was made up of relatives, friends and colleagues of Nick’s (as well as fellow leader and all round good guy Ben Walker) and there was a wide range of abilities and experience across the group. Despite this everyone got together and helped each other out so much that we ended up with every single member of the group on the summit – a huge effort on the part of all 24 people. I think everyone (myself included) stepped well outside their comfort zone at times and I’d like to think that everyone had a really enjoyable and inspiring trip – I certainly did.
Thanks to the whole team and to the legendary Mustafa and Hassan, our local guys. And absolutely no thanks to everyone for sending me home with a stinking hangover after a massive final night in Marrakech!