North Cumbrian man attempts to walk Lake District fell a thousand times to raise money for charity

A man from north Cumbrian is attempting to walk up a Lake District mountain a thousand times to raise money for charity. 

Steve Hartley, 69, has been climbing Carrock Fell near Caldbeck for 10 years and hopes to reach his goal later this year. He's trying to raise funds for Eden Valley Hospice, which has helped care for his wife. 

Carrock Fell is around 2,000 feet high and lies in the northern fells above Caldbeck. It's a peak that's relatively close to his home near Wigton and means he doesn't have to spend too long away from his wife, who needs regular care.

He has raised £2,170 so far, and hopes to reach his goal this autumn.

Each walk takes Steve up to an hour. Credit: ITV Border

Steve, who is retired but is a full-time carer for Jan, said: "Well I used to walk all the fells when I had more time but I am now committed to looking after Jan and that doesn't give me much time.

"So I got into the habit of just walking two or three times a week. It keeps me fit and mentally fit as well which is an important component for carers and over the years it's mounted up and mounted up and I got to about 900 and I thought why not go for the thousand."

Jan has multiple sclerosis, which affects her mobility and ability to speak. But she was able to tell us how important Eden Valley Hospice has been to her.  

Jan said: "It's company and it's not just company, it's intelligent conversation which, when you are stuck inside, it just gives you a purpose as well."

She thinks Steve's fundraising challenge is 'brilliant'. 

Staff at the hospice are also delighted that Steve is raising money to help them in their work. 

The Day Hospice Team Lead, Deborah Skelton, said: "I think it's incredible what Steve is doing.

"It's just great that Steve and Jan have been thinking of us, even in this time when we've not been able to have our physical doors open to them, we've maintained telephone contact so for Steve to be doing this for us is just incredible."

Steve has been walking up Carrock Fell regularly since 2013, going to the top and back around 100 times a year, that's the equivalent of walking up Mount Everest from sea level 5 times.

He expects to reach the summit for the 1,000th time in September. So, how will he feel when he reaches the summit for the 1,000th time? 

"Getting to the top is not the objective," he says.

"The objective is to get to the bottom in one piece, because most accidents always happen on the way down, so I'm not going to have a drink of champagne or anything up there. That will happen when I get back down here." 

He has 40 more walks still to go before reaching the magic 1,000 figure, a chance to enjoy more of this magnificent scenery and give something back to one of Cumbria's best-known charities.