1. ITV Report

Trek 22: Manchester Arena foyer survivors climb Snowdon

By Adam McClean

I had the honour of climbing Snowdon with a team of survivors of the bombing. It was the most humbling experience of my career as a journalist.

Manchester was the very last place this team wanted to be on the anniversary of the attack. Many were in the foyer at the time of the explosion a year ago.

I avoid thinking about the moment when I arrived at the arena. Paramedics were shouting for walking wounded to make themselves known.

I wished I could do more than just report facts as I watched in horror the heroic efforts of the emergency services responding to the suicide bombing of the city I call home.

In the days after the attack the city centre became the focus of tributes to the 22 people who had lost their lives. A year on Manchester remembered them.

The Manchester Survivors Group at the summit of Snowdon. Credit: Eleanor McPhail

For some the memorial events in the city brought comfort. But the reality of this atrocity is that many could not face the thought of being there.

Some have been unable to visit Manchester since the attack. Others have moved away. There are many still unable to turn to the city for solace.

Andy Wholey was thrown across the floor by the blast. For the last six months he’s been organising Trek 22 for survivors just like him.

Andy Wholey, organiser of Trek 22, accompanied by reporter Adam McClean. Credit: Eleanor McPhail

After just a few steps towards the summit of Snowdon it was clear I had been invited to accompany a very special group of people, sharing a profound moment.

Over the course of a four hour climb I was reminded that there are so many good people in this world, even though acts of evil often make that hard to believe.

I witnessed the adverse effects the bombing has had on a truly incredible group. One member of the team had to turn back due to injuries sustained in the attack.

Led by Andy the team pushed for the top of the highest mountain in Wales. They reached the summit to reflect on the progress they have made over the last year.

The Trek 22 team were brought together in the most horrific circumstances. They are now friends who are supporting each other through difficulties.

In telling their story and that of the Manchester Arena bombing I have witnessed the very best of humanity and the very worst.

As a journalist I meet too many wonderful people who have been through the most horrific experiences, dealing with the hand life has dealt. I met 25 more today.