Wrexham man goes from fighting the election to fighting the elements

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

BRUCE Roberts was looking to do something completely different after standing in last month’s General Election.

So the Wrexham-based accountant, who unsuccessfully contested Clwyd South for the Liberal Democrats, decided on a mammoth charity challenge in Scotland.

Along with five friends, he will attempt the Great Glen Way Adventure, which means canoeing 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness along the Caledonian Canal, walking all the way back for 73 miles along the Great Glen Way and then for good measure climbing Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland at 4,409 feet.

Mr Roberts, 44, said: “Last year my friend Clive Heale and I walked a circular route around Snowdonia and raised £1,700 for the Parkinson’s Disease Society.

“We were looking for something to do this year and came up with the challenge in Scotland.”

Both Mr Roberts and Mr Heale, who lives in Wrexham and works as a building inspector for Cheshire West and Chester Council, aim to complete the entire gruelling challenge in nine days later this month.

Doing just the canoeing will be Rob Hutchinson, an accountant from Warrington, and Gary Hall, a church minister from Birmingham.

Two more friends from outside the area, Richard Noyes and Paul Harrison, will take part in just the walking and mountaineering part of the challenge.

The canoeing begins on Thursday, June 10 and is due to finish the following Sunday.

Walking starts the next day and lasts for five days, with the group ending up in Fort William on Friday, June 18.

Finally, the ascent on Ben Nevis begins the following day.

Mr Roberts said: “We are all in our forties or fifties and walk regularly, so that part should be no problem.

“We are also doing quite a bit of preparation for the whole thing.

“What could be a problem is the canoeing, especially if the wind is against us.

“The prevailing wind in that part of Scotland comes from the south-east but if it is coming from the north-east it will make things very difficult.

“Another tough part could be canoeing the whole length of Loch Ness, which is part of the route.

“I believe the waves on the loch can get up to five or six feet high at times.

“Ben Nevis sounds like a tough test but I think it will be fairly easy – a long plod rather than a steep climb.”

He added: “We have decided to raise at least £1,000 for the National Autistic Society as Richard’s two sons are both autistic.

“It’s all a bit of a change from politics.”

Donations can be made at www. justgiving.com/Great-Glen-Way.

See full story in the Leader

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