11 Aug 2022

Clonmel hiker to take on mountain challenge for a good cause

Clonmel hiker to take on mountain challenge for a good cause

Jack Kennedy and Christ Britton in training for a Slievenamon challenge

Clonmel native Chris Britton is planning to take his passion for hiking to new heights all while raising money for charity.
He is planning to undertake nineteen laps of Slievenamon in thirty hours, surpassing the height of Mount Everest to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation.
An experienced hiker, Chris hopes to put his hobby to good use and raise funds to fight meningitis and septicaemia.
His passion stems from his parent’s enthusiasm for climbing and growing up the family would spend weekends hiking the nearby Comeraghs and Galtees.
“There’s a story of my dad bringing me up the mountains inside his jacket when I wasn’t even a year old. I was hiking before I could walk, quite literally,” said Chris.
“I used to be very proud going into school saying what distance we’d have hiked.”
Not only did a childhood on the mountains fuel his fundraising missions today, but it also set his sights on challenges further afield.
“Dad would go on trips abroad and tell us about the hiking trips he’d been on, like going over to Nepal to see the Himalayas and Morocco to climb the Atlas mountains. It kind of got me interested really young.”
At the start of the lockdown, Chris began to take on more serious challenges and advance his lifetime of hiking.
He realised it was a great way to raise money for charity all while taking advantage of the familiar trails nearby.

“Having grown up pretty much in the centre of Clonmel my whole life I’ve had the Comeraghs on my doorstep,” said Chris.
“I think that’s what really drew us to it during lockdown, we didn’t break our five kilometres to be on the mountain.”
Chris’s fundraiser is part of the Choose a Challenge initiative, with the final goal being to scale Kilimanjaro this August for The Meningitis Research Foundation.
The charity’s work provides better access to vaccines, treatment and support for survivors of meningitis and septicaemia.
Kilimanjaro caught Chris’s attention as it is one of the most ambitious hikes in the world that isn’t solely rock climbing.
While he had the goal in mind of climbing Kilimanjaro within the next few years, the unmissable opportunity presented itself sooner than he had expected.
“I’ve always had it in the back of my head that it would be really cool to do Kilimanjaro and the opportunity came up I couldn’t not do it.”
In preparation, he has been enlisting friends to join him doing laps of Slievenamon on his days off. Each week, he increases the distance with his final goal in mind to surpass 8,848 kilometres, the height of the earth’s tallest mountain.
Chris and his friend Jack Kennedy recently completed a 100k fundraising hike, with the endeavour not only raising money for the chosen charity but also providing a useful warm up for the challenges to come.
Chris has yet to set a date for the Slievenamon challenge and is now putting in serious preparation for it.
While hard work, Chris believes hiking is a highly rewarding pastime with endless benefits.
“I definitely feel quite at peace on the mountain. There’s no purer way to enjoy nature, or animals in their natural habitat.”
To donate, there will be a collection station at Slievenamon or online via the Just Giving link.
To follow along with Chris’s fundraiser, the event it will be posted on his Instagram @chrisbritton1.

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