Stephanie Ross
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Stephanie Ross - Ullswater, The Lake District, 2011

Hargreaves team were on their final expedition in the most vile weather conditions we'd had all summer. We had been camping for 3 nights with one more left to go. We were hiking up Green Up Edge and you couldn't see 3 metres in front of you because of the low cloud-cover. A woman waved us over to where her mum was sat against a rock and looking worse for wear; she suffered from diabetes, and although she was eating her blood sugar-level wasn't improving. She was getting very cold and tiring quickly.

There was no shelter from the rain or wind, and we were also cold and soaked through to the skin, so the team erected two tents whilst I was put on the phone to Mountain Rescue. They advised us to help the two women get back down to where we had a minibus waiting for us. It took us 6 hours from meeting the women to reaching our minibus, because of the weather and we had to go slowly so we didn't lose anyone.

We reached the bottom of the mountain and the OB instructor dropped the women off at their hostel whilst we continued up to Ruthwaite Lodge, beside Helvellyn. We spent 14 hours out in the hills with very few breaks, but we reached the lodge late at night with smiles on our faces.

The group worked as more of a team in that one day than it had over the whole course, and on reflection it was an experience that was amazing but our biggest challenge yet. It was also our proudest moment, as when we returned to the centre the following evening, our director informed us Mountain Rescue had contacted them and told OB that they weren't needed because their team knew what they were doing. It was a memorable day, and one that will inspire me to keep going each time I feel like I want to stop.

Posted: 23/09/2011