Ain’t no mountain high enough

29 August 2018 17:00

Many tackle the challenge of climbing Mount Snowdon, at 1,085 meters the highest mountain in Wales, but few do it having recently experienced sight loss.


Veterans climbing Snowdon
Karl (fourth from the left) with staff and veterans supported by our charity.

Karl, who only started receiving our support in May, has done just that. It is just one of many challenges he has set himself since losing his sight due to macular degeneration.

Karl, 56 and ex-Army, is due to have his induction week in September. In the meantime, it was suggested he might like to join a hill walking week in Snowdonia.

Karl explains,

"I jumped at the chance of doing some hill walking. I have always enjoyed outdoor activities and this was a really good introduction to Blind Veterans UK and what the charity does."

Our staff member Mark accompanied the veterans on the walk, and ensuring all reached the summit of Snowdon. This gave Karl a chance to walk with Mark and learn more about the charity and what we can offer.

Reaching the top of Snowdon
Karl is seen above on the left, in the gloom, at the summit.

Karl says,

"Walking with the other blind veterans, some having far less sight than I have, was a real experience – thinking, well if they can do this so can I. Hearing from them about the support they have received from the charity and the many opportunities there are for taking part in activities, trying out new things, learning new skills."

From the time of his arrival at the centre Karl says he felt completely safe and comfortable, able to easily navigate his way around the building.  He adds:

"Being part of a charity just for ex-Servicemen and women, and those suffering sight loss, means right away I felt part of the community, part of the family. I loved the camaraderie."

Karl is already looking forward to his induction course. These weeks are a chance for our staff to assess our veterans’ needs and suggest whatever equipment they may need. It’s also a chance for people like Karl to try out various activities they might think their sight loss prevents them from doing – such as archery, photography, painting and bowls – before taking part in an activity week.

When Karl was first diagnosed with macular degeneration he and his wife, Angela, set themselves ambitious challenges: to visit all seven continents and the Seven Wonders of the World. 

So far they have visited all the continents, except Antarctica which is in the pipeline, and they are off soon to see their fourth Wonder of the World, the pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico.  With the support of the charity Karl is confident he will meet all the challenges ahead of him.

Bravo Karl on your latest adventure, you’re a true testament to life after sight loss.