Beginning on October 9, 2022, Oscar and his dad (and sometimes his mom, sister, granddad, and friends) climbed Ingleborough, Whernside, Old Man of Coniston, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Blencathra, Snowdon, Glyder Fawr, Scafell Pike, Cairngorm, and Stob Dearg. A couple of times they had to cut a climb short due to weather conditions and try again. But those delays didn’t stop Oscar from climbing his last mountain—Ben Nevis—on May 29, 2023—the seventieth anniversary of Hillary and Norgay’s Mount Everest summit.
But we’ll let Oscar tell the story:
Hi Oscar! We know that you saw a tv program at school about Sir Edmund Hillary and Tengay Norgay’s climb to the top of Mount Everest. What was it about the movie that caught your attention?
I liked that [Everest] was very high, steep, snowy, and dangerous—and that you can see lots from the top.
How did the idea to hike Mount Everest change into hiking the twelve largest peaks in the UK?
I told dad that I want to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest and he said I had to do a lot of training to climb it, so we came up with the twelve mountains that we thought had parts of Mount Everest in them.
What do you mean by “parts of Mount Everest”?
Cairngorm and Skiddaw have snow, Ben Nevis, Scafell, and Snowdon are the biggest mountains in the UK, and Glyder Fawr and Helvellyn are hard and challenging.
Ah, okay! And why did you decide to raise money for Derian House?
I wanted to help the poorly [common UK term for ill] children and send them on holiday. I have now sent thirty families on week-long holidays. Now I am raising money to run the hydrotherapy swimming pool and pay for swimming lessons.
Which hike was your favorite? Which was the most challenging? Are there any really strange or cool stories from any of your hikes you can share with us?
My favorite mountain was Ben Nevis as I found a big stick at the top. It is the biggest mountain in the UK, and it had snow on the top so I could have a snowball fight with Ollie, my best friend. My biggest challenge was Cairngorm because of the really deep snow. We climbed it the day after a blizzard. One story is that on Snowdon we met Speedo Mick near the summit. And also on Helvellyn when gangan [nickname for grandad] and daddy had to hold me down as it was very windy [40-50 mph gusts].
Do you have any advice for other people who want to climb a mountain?
Be careful on the bad weather days as you might get lost or hurt, but no matter what, always follow your dreams.