Joel hits his peak - at the age of just six!
A six-year-old mountain climber who idolises adventurer Bear Grylls has scaled the three biggest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales.
Joel Ollerton climbed all 978m of Scafell Pike in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, earlier this month, to complete his trio of treks.
The Werrington Primary pupil, who turns seven on September 30, is now looking to complete the Three Peaks challenge which would see him climb Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdon in Wales in 24 hours.
If he completes the challenge as a seven-year-old, previous media reports suggest he would equal the record for the youngest person ever to do so.
Joel said: “I thought I could climb all of them when I was below seven. Some of my heroes inspired me - Bear Grylls and my dad’s father.”
Joel, who wants to grow up to be like Bear Grylls, had many highlights from his adventure. He said: “I enjoyed the view on Ben Nevis because the cloud lifted and I got amazing views.”
Joel also got to camp out overnight with dad Andrew on Scafell Pike. He added: “I love camping out with my dad.”
Andrew and pet collie Will joined Joel on all three climbs which he managed unaided.
The first was up Snowdon in August 2015 when he was just five. For that trip mum Charlotte (39), brother Toby (four) and sister Lucy (eight) all joined him.
The family also joined him half-way up Ben Nevis before Joel, his friend who is also called Joel, and Andrew completed the journey to the top.
Father, son and dog Will then scaled Scafell Pike.
Andrew (37) said: “As a family we have done quite a lot of outdoor stuff together which we love. My father was very keen on the mountains. He was a big inspiration for us.”
The Snowdon and Ben Nevis climbs were included as part of family trips to Scotland and Wales, and having managed those two Joel was determined to complete the set.
Andrew said: “Joel wanted to do it before his seventh birthday. It was kind of a birthday treat.
“I’m proud, particularly because he so enjoys it. We are a Christian family and there’s something about being in the mountains. We talk and pray together and we feel like we really encounter God’s presence.
“It’s a really great way that father and son can bond.”
There must be something in the family genes because Andrew’s dad David is undergoing his own remarkable challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The Cardiff resident has climbed 30 of the 33 recognised summits of over 2,000 feet in south Wales while undergoing batches of gruelling chemotherapy every three weeks.
The pain is so bad that David can only go trekking on the third week of each chemotherapy cycle when he has recovered enough strength.