Elaine said she realised the cloud base was getting closer and that her phone - which had been fully-charged - was losing power.

The view from Ben Nevis taken by Elaine Sefton.The view from Ben Nevis taken by Elaine Sefton.

A walk on Ben Nevis to raise money for an environmental charity proved even more arduous than Elaine Sefton anticipated when she had to face a driving blizzard, falling visibility and a mobile phone with a failing battery.

Elaine, 68, of health and wellbeing salon Elaine’s of Brampton, hopes to raise £1,600 for Survival International, which works with indigenous people, by completing the Ben Nevis trek.

“It was fun and I met some lovely people,” said Elaine, who ended up on a solo venture after her companions were forced to drop out.

She said the weather looked like it would put the walk in jeopardy before it started, but a check showed all was well on the mountain top.

The rocky road up Ben Nevis for Elaine and her fellow climbers.The rocky road up Ben Nevis for Elaine and her fellow climbers.

“I was surprised to see lots of people going up, I knew I would not be alone on the mountain as it turned out, unfortunately, my two companions could not finish with me due to circumstances, but I decided to carry on,” Elaine said. “So many people were up there, I felt safe and if I did get into trouble there was someone who could relay info, I thought.”

She told how there was still a chance to enjoy the view before the clouds descended and how other walkers praised her solo efforts.

Elaine said she realised the cloud base was getting closer and that her phone - which had been fully-charged - was losing power.

“Now things are getting serious, with cloud base and me together, there is no view, and it’s getting much colder. Now the rain has started, the visibility is as far as 20 meters, and the cold was settling in,” she said.

Elaine said another walker told her the peak was only five minutes away, but it took an hour and a half more to get there through a blizzard and she was fortunate to persuade someone to provide photographic evidence she had reached the top,

“Going down with the full force of the blizzard working against me, trying to keep my face from being battered by the ice pounding on the skin as I started climbing very carefully over the wet rocks and stones. I found out on the news much later that the top corner of Scotland had received the tail end of the hurricane Storm Omar,” Elaine said.

She told how streams became raging torrents on a descent which took four hours and was greeted by cheer from a group of strangers.

“It took me four hours to get down those slick wet stones, shingles, rocks rivers running wild that just wanted to grab your feet and sweep you off the mountain top. No, four hard hours telling myself that this is a wonderful experience, challenging, would not be half the fun if it was easy, now would it? Cramp, ouch. Legs now going on strike, they had had enough they were not going to stretch to the next stone step, the mind said otherwise, It me or the mountain! There is no one who can get you down, only you,I said many times to myself.”

Elaine said she managed to get a message to her partner who had set off earlier to find her.

She said: “Would I do this again? With a rousing ‘yes’ but the weather needs to hot at base, sunny, no clouds, time to sunbath on the way up, and to see the spectacular views on the way down.”

Elaine, a member of Rotary Huntingdon Cromwell said she carried out the trek for the Survival International charity and donations can be made to her Just Giving page on Facebook, at: www.survivalinternational.org, and at Elaine’s Hiking Ben Nevis Just Giving: www.elainesofbrampton.co.uk .

Elaine, a keen environmentalist, urged people to watch David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary A Life On Our Planet in which he shares his thoughts on how we can all help our planet which we are slowly destroying.