A 13-year-old boy from Radlett has scaled the highest mountain in the UK in memory of his late grandma, raising thousands for charity and marking his introduction into manhood.
Samuel Finer walked up Scottish mountain Ben Nevis the day before his 13th birthday, raising more than £2,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
The charity gave “great care” to his grandma, Loretta Richman, who sadly passed away in March 2019 after a two-year battle with peritoneal cancer.
The experience was an initiation into manhood for Samuel, because he did the trek as part of his Bar Mitzvah.
Samuel explained: “My mum always told my sister, Sophie, and I what incredible care and kindness my grandma received at the Royal Marsden hospital. My grandma often spoke about how excited she was for my Bar Mitzvah weekend, so I did this walk in her memory.
“I found the hour before reaching the summit the hardest as it was really cold and wet and I couldn’t see the top – but once I stood at the trig point, I felt a massive sense of achievement and pride.”
Samuel’s dad, Richard, was with him for the journey.
He said: “It was pretty awful! It just didn’t stop raining the entire time, so it was wet and slippery and cold. Our hands quickly went numb and our waterproof clothes weren’t quite that, but that made it an even more exceptional achievement.
“We’re exceptionally proud of Samuel for taking it on and raising in excess of £2,000 for such a worthy and relevant cause – his grandmother would have been extremely proud too.
“He wasn’t sure how much he should aim to raise and didn’t want to set the bar too high – he didn’t expect to reach £1,000, let alone £2,000.”
The trek up and down the mountain, which is around 17km in total, took eight hours.
Richard said: “It was worth it to reach the top. Samuel, at one stage, was the highest-standing person in the UK. That’s a special achievement. What a momentous start to manhood.”