In 2017 John had not really thought much about climbing mountains but when he heard about The National Three Peaks Challenge – climbing the highest points in Wales, England and Scotland in 24 hours he knew that was the best way to raise money for charities supporting people like his 17-year-old nephew.
He and his family have now raised nearly £40,000 but it has also led John to become a qualified mountain leader and guide who takes charity walkers, team-building business groups, and anyone who wants to experience some of the most stunning scenery in the UK on adventures of a lifetime.
John’s routes take in the iconic National Three Peaks, Yorkshire’s Three Peaks, and the exhilarating ridges of Helvellyn, Striding and Swirral Edge, Crib Goch and Sharp Edge, just to name a few. But it is not just adrenaline-fuelled days up mountains, those who want a more gentle pace amid superb landscapes are also catered for. John, who still runs Fulwell Post Office in Sunderland, says one of the best things he enjoys outdoors is to sit and watch a sunset or sunrise from the top of a mountain.
You can book a guided tour for your business, charity or group (he’s even taken stag parties into the wilds). Guided events are available for the casual hiker as well. The only requirement is that you are physically fit enough to do the walk and stay apace with your group.
John – or Orange John to give him his mountaineering name, because of the colour of much of his gear – realised he was cut out to undertake the work when he was preparing for his own charity adventure for his nephew.
He said: “The more I trained the more I knew this was my calling. My purpose is to help others experience the mountains, to help raise money for charity, and to help people escape the normal day to day life – get out of the office, the factory the shop, whatever they might do because the mountains are for everyone.”
All groups are led by experienced and qualified guides at a ratio of 1:10. They carry radio comms and portable Red Sky Foundation defibrillator units – one of the few companies that do.
Those going on the trips are advised to train beforehand to make sure they are fit enough. The guides then set a pace to get you around on time but still with plenty of enjoyment.
To book a tour for your business charity or group, and to find out more, go to www.orangejohn.co.uk.