Grandad celebrates turning 75 by climbing Ben Nevis with his family

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A grandfather has told of his pride after turning 75 in style by reaching the highest point of the British Isles.

Graham McGrath climbed Ben Nevis on his birthday alongside son Bruce, 48, and grandson Callum Barker, 16.

Graham McGrath, left, with grandson Callum.

Graham McGrath, left, with grandson Callum.

As well as making the climb to celebrate his milestone, Graham raised funds for two charities.

Over £2,000 has been raised for rotary charity Polio Plus and Houghton Area Youth Band, of which Graham’s granddaughter Eliza, 10, is a member.

Graham, from Great Lumley, is a member and two-time president of the Rotary Club of Houghton-le-Spring, and admits he got emotional when he reached the peak of Ben Nevis,

He said: “I cried when I reached the summit – that’s how emotional I was.

I cried when I reached the summit – that’s how emotional I was

Graham McGrath

“I was a bit like Andy Murray when he won Wimbledon on Sunday.

“When you reach the pinnacle, it’s very emotional, and you suddenly realise that at that time, you’re the highest person in the whole of the UK.

“It also comes after such a tough climb before that, because it’s very steep, and the weather was mixed for us as well.

“It was hard work and my legs are still sore, but it was well worth it.”

The trio had to put up with differing weather conditions during the climb, including mist and snow.

After setting off from their caravan site at 7am, they reached the 4,416ft peak at 12.50pm, before getting back down again by 6pm.

Graham, who is also a father to Fiona and grandfather to Jake, added: “My son was saying, ‘Come on dad, you’ll be OK, just keep going’.

“Eventually, someone said we were 15 minutes away from the summit, which was a big relief.

“Eventually, you just get there, which is a great moment.

“It was quite surprising how many other people were up there – you don’t realise there are lots of others doing it as you climb.

“I’m very proud to have done it, and it was fantastic to do it alongside my son and grandson.”

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