Lancashire man climbs every peak in the Lake District for charity

Lucy Meacock and Gamal Fahnbulleh spoke to Michael about his father, scaling the peaks, and what his next fundraising mission will be.

A man has scaled more than 200 peaks to raise money for dementia treatment.

Michael Kipping, from Leyland, in Lancashire, scaled all 214 peaks in the Lake District for the charity Alzheimer's Society.

He decided to take up the challenge when his father, Graham, had a difficult Christmas after his dementia worsened.

Michael said: "Last Christmas, he had an infection and a virus, which made him lose his mobility."

Graham spent time in hospital, which Michael says seemed to make his dementia worse.

Michael added: "He was very confused, he didn't know who we were.

"Some of the family ended up caring for him... and that really gave us an insight into what the future might hold and how he might be as it progressed.

"I’m a very practical person and it was frustrating not to be able to do anything to help him medically, so I decided that fundraising was something positive that I could do.”

Michael's Father; Graham

Before being diagnosed with dementia, Michael's father was enjoying his retirement after a career as an engineer.

Michael said: "My Dad... was always a very active man, with lots of interests.

"He enjoyed a lifelong love of planes and, living outside Cambridge, was able to volunteer at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

"I’m a very practical person and it was frustrating not to be able to do anything to help him medically, so I decided that fundraising was something positive that I could do.”

Michael at the start of his journey, having scaled his first few peaks Credit: Michael Kipping

Since starting his challenge in January 2023 Michael has raised nearly £10,000.

To complete the challenge Michael has spent his weekends and annual leave scaling the peaks across the Lake District one by one.

He said: “It was tough to start with but definitely got easier as I got into the rhythm of it.”

Out of all 214 peaks, Michael says the first one he scaled, Skiddaw, was his favourite.

He said: "It's a very gentle incline but I could see it in the distance and I thought, what have you done here?

"But actually getting to the top gave me that confidence that although it would be really tough, I would be able to complete the challenge."

Despite the huge undertaking, the 47-year-old admits he would not have considered himself a walker before he began the fundraiser.

He said: "It was very new to me. I did do some walking when I was in my teens... but hadn't really been out and about walking for a long time."

Michael scaling the peaks with his friends and family Credit: Alzheimer's Society

While he scaled many of the peaks alone, he was often joined by friends and family members.

For his final peak on 2 October, 40 people - and five dogs - took on the walk with him.

Michael said: "It was very emotional... being joined by family and a broad range of friends was- I was really, really touched by that.

"The emotions around my dad and and kind of what happens next when I've finished running away from from the situation... It all came to the surface"

Michael's fundraiser is still ongoing, and he hopes the money can help fund research and support for people with dementia.

Michael said: "I’m still feeling very overwhelmed by the support and generosity of people and hope the monies raised help Alzheimer’s Society in their fight against dementia.

"It’s a widespread and very cruel illness that we need to fight with everything we’ve got.” 

Michael's announcement that he had completed his mission to scale all 214 peaks Credit: Michael Kipping

Alzheimer's Society provides support for people with dementia, as well as their friends and family members. The charity also funds research into dementia diagnosis, treatment, and care.

Jade Trafford, who is a Community Fundraiser for the charity, said: “Michael’s determination to complete this huge challenge in such a short period of time is inspirational.

"I’m sure his family are incredibly proud and everyone at Alzheimer’s Society feels really honoured to be the recipient charity for the money he has raised."

Michael's fundraising page will remain open until Christmas so people can continue to donate.

If you are affected by dementia, call Alzheimer’s Society’s support line: 0333 150 3456 for help and advice or visit