Scale of mountainous challenge befitting a fallen friend

3:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

By Tom Ambrose

A Twickenham man is aiming high as he and six friends look to conquer 21 peaks in memory of a friend who died of bowel cancer.

Dave Ames, 30, is part of the group hoping to raise funds for Bowel & Cancer Research in tribute to Nathan Bray, who died aged 32.

The task will see the magnificent seven take on the Yorkshire three peaks challenge followed by a 24-hour three peaks challenge of climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

They will tackle another 15 peaks in north Wales, aiming to complete the tall task - the equivalent of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 21,000ft - in four days between April 22 to 26.

Dave, who works for TomTom Fitness, said: “When Nathan died we pledged to keep his memory alive.

“It’s going to be a long, hard slog, but we’ve done two other tough challenges together and got through.

“We are all very supportive of each other and there will be lots of blisters and aching bones but we’re confident we’ll make it.

“The biggest worry is the weather and there are some tricky rock faces and steep gradients – we must get everyone back in one piece.”

Dave and Nathan were best friends having grown up together in Norfolk and attended his wedding five days before his death five years ago.

This year’s challenge is the third time Dave and his mates have done something for the charity, including a cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He added: “We really enjoy the experience and the reason behind it and decided to take on a challenge every two years.

“So here we are again with a common goal - a two-year gap is just enough to remember how much the last one hurt.”

The other six walkers are Gareth Williams, 34, and Sujan Shah, 33, from Hertfordshire, and Norfolk friends Matt Atherton, 30, Gavin I’Anson, 26, Alex Bates, 27, and Danny Hawkins, 36.

A spokesman for Bowel & Cancer Research said: “We really appreciate what Dave and his friends continue to achieve – they are incredible.

“Our mission is to help ensure that bowel cancer is no longer a killer, and that people like Nathan will survive in future.”

To find out more and offer support, visit


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