It is sometimes easy to forget that behind the reported incidents of antisocial behaviour amongst our youth population, there is a silent and large majority of young people in Kilkenny doing inspiring things with their lives and this group of young people is a terrific example of that.
Nine young people from Ossory Youth completed the challenge of a life time by reaching the summit of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK measuring a staggering 4,413 feet! This resilient and determined group of young people have been preparing for the climb for nine months with part of their preparation involving the ascent of Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil (3405ft) in May 2017. The ‘Mountain of Heaven’ however would prove a much more challenging proposition altogether; with the ascent taking five hours before being able to set eyes on the ruins of the old observatory at the summit.
Starting out in Kilkenny on Monday 17th July 2017, the group embarked on a journey to Fort William in Scotland, a small and vibrant town just a few mile from Ben Nevis. With the help of local guide Jack McCreadie, the group began the ascent early on Tuesday morning and returned to the bus eight hours later. A well-earned rest day was taken on Wednesday before embarking on the long journey back to Kilkenny on the Thursday, arriving at Desart Hall late and exhausted.
Sophie, one of the young participants on the climb described the experience as “tough but memorable” whilst Ciara reflected on the experience as being “wonderful but challenging and an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime”. The project was supported by our local Gardai and in particular Garda Kieran Scanlon. It would not have been possible also without the support of parents and the commitment of the young people involved.