Ten-year-old takes on top 10 highest peaks in memory of his Grandma ⛰️
Update: 18th September
We are delighted to let you know that Merlin conquered the final two peaks on his to do list on Sunday 18th Septemeber, Scafell and Scafell Pike! A huge well done to Merlin and his family!
Scarfell – Scafell 18 September 2022 964m. Challenge complete!
Scafell Pike – 18 September 2022 977m. On the top of England!
Ten-year-old Merlin Rowell from Kirk Hammerton in Yorkshire has set himself a mighty challenge, to climb the ten highest peaks in England before he’s eleven years old. His Grandma Kathleen was cared for at St Cuthbert’s Hospice last year and after chatting with his mum Hester and dad Andrew they came up with ‘Merlin’s 10’, a fundraising challenge to raise some money for the Durham-based Hospice that cared for her.
Merlin told us: “Grandma was lots of fun. We used to fish for tadpoles, she would make me dinosaurs and we’d go on the best adventures. It seemed like a good thing to do something fun in memory of my Grandma – she was looked after really well at St Cuthbert’s. I want other people to be cared for if they need it too. They need a lot of money to care for people.”
Currently, Merlin and his parents have reached the halfway mark and climbed eight out of the ten peaks. Merlin’s first climb was Helvellyn in the Lake District in March 2022, shortly followed by Cross Fell in April. Merlin then made it up Skiddaw – “it was cold and windy in the clouds” and Great Gable in May – “it was hard walking up the path, but when we got to the scrambling it was fun and really worth it.”
In August, he conquered Bowfell “The best bit was scrambling up the river. My feet hurt by the end.”
Mum Hester told us: “We often travel to the peak with Merlin in his PJ’s in the car. Then getting to the peak can be a long trudge for little legs, so there is often a need for encouragement: it’s the only time he can be sure his mum will properly listen to his Pokemon chat! Favourite food is a good motivator too: bagels are his top snacks.”
Merlin has been sponsored by lots of school friends and family and has so far raised over £600! Merlin’s birthday is in November and they have two peaks left to climb, including Scafell Pike.
Merlin’s mum and dad, Hester and Andrew are understandably incredibly proud of Merlin’s achievements so far:
Hester said: “We are really proud of Merlin, his grandma loved the outdoors and so it’s lovely to be able to get outside as a family, climbing these mountains together and remembering her.”
Andrew said: ‘As a family, we feel so fortunate that mum was able to spend her last days at St Cuthbert’s. The care and kindness really helped us at a sad and difficult time.’
Sarah Donkin, Communications and Marketing Coordinator at St Cuthbert’s Hospice said: “I’ve worked at St Cuthbert’s for nearly six years now and have never heard of such an amazing challenge being completed by someone so young. Those peaks are a challenge for the best of us so to hear he’s taking them all in his stride just blows us away. We really are in awe of Merlin and all he has achieved so far. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the challenge goes and look forward to celebrating with him when he finishes. Without incredible fundraisers such as Merlin, we wouldn’t be able to provide the level of compassionate care that we do for the many families who need us each year.”
Merlin's 10 Checklist
His first climb was Helvellyn in the Lake District in March, shortly followed by Cross Fell in April. Merlin then conquered Skiddaw – “it was cold and windy in the clouds” and Great Gable in May – “It was hard walking up the path, but when we got the scrambling it was fun and really worth it.” On 5th August Merlin conquered Bowfell, saying “The best bit was scrambling up the river. My feet hurt by the end.”
⛰️ Helvelyn ✅
⛰️ Cross Fell ✅
⛰️ Skiddaw ✅
⛰️ Great Gable ✅
⛰️ Bowfell ✅
On 14th August he managed to tick 3 more off the list!:
⛰️ Ill Crag ✅ “It was a loooooong scramble to the top. I kept thinking that we were at the top but it kept being further.”
⛰️ Broad Crag ✅ “I could see Scafell Pike and I’m looking forward to going up it soon”
⛰️ Great End ✅ “Our third peak of the day”
Next on Merlin’s list are:
⛰️ Scafell Pike
He hopes to complete them over the summer holidays with his mum and dad before his 11th birthday in November.
You can follow along with Merlin’s 10 on his JustGiving Page with updates from mum Hester –