Big Davy’s Ben Nevis chain challenge

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Arran dad Davy Ballantyne has just taken on another huge fundraising challenge, this time wearing 60 kg (91/2 st) of chains on a  climb Ben Nevis.

The 57 year old,known as Big Davy, undertook the physical challenge last month and despite just failing to reach the summit has already raised more than £2,000 for the type one diabetes research charity JDRF – two-thirds of his original target.

Davy, who two years ago dragged an anvil up Goatfell, and back down again, two years ago, decided to undertake this second challenge for his 12 year old daughter Roisin, who was diagnosed with type one diabetes three years ago. The 60 kg of metal chains represent the 6.0 mmol which is the ideal blood glucose reading.

After a six and a half hours of a gruelling ascent, and just 300 metres of reaching the summit, he was advised to stop by mountaineers due to dangerous weather conditions. Davy was accompanied on his challenge by a film crew who were making a documentary.

In total, Davy, who lived in Brodick, has raised more than £19,000 for JDRF in the last two years through his challenges.

Davy said: ‘Having type 1 diabetes is life changing and I do these gruelling challenges to show my daughter, Roisin, that she’s not the only one who finds her condition challenging at times, especially if her blood glucose levels are too high or low.

‘As 6.0 mmol is the ideal reading, it was only fitting that I wore 60 kilograms, around 9.5 stones, worth of metal chains. Given this was the same weight as an adult, it was hard going on my neck, back, shoulders and legs, but I’m delighted to have raised funds for JDRF as the only way we’re going to cure type 1 diabetes is through research.’

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type one diabetes research. Their mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat type one diabetes and its complications.

There is still time to support his fundraising effort. Just go to the website and search for Big Davy’s Chain Challenge.

Photographs by Fraser Aitchison

Traversing difficult terrain, Big Davy makes his way up Ben Nevis. No_B32Davy01

Davy walks along the well constructed pathway carrying his heavy load of chains. No_B32Davy02

Crossing streams and boulder fields along the route. No_B32Davy03

The weather conditions worsen as elevation is gained. No_B32Davy04

The walk up Ben Nevis offers panoramic views over the valleys below. No_B32Davy05

Davy meets some of the many walkers along the popular route. No_B32Davy06

Davy takes a quick rest break to survey the path ahead. No_B32Davy07

Astonished walkers look on as Davy undertakes his gruelling challenge. No_B32Davy08