Exhausted trio battle gale force winds and freezing temperatures to finally complete Red Nose Day challenge
Emma, Oti and Rylan reached the icy summit of Cairn Gorm – 1,245m above sea level – this afternoon
Trio’s original attempt to summit the mountain was halted yesterday due to dangerous weather and 100mph winds
Celebrities forced to rely on crampons and ice axes to help navigate the final, punishing 700m of the icy climb
Viewers will be able to follow every step of the brutal journey in a special documentary airing on BBC One and iPlayer in the lead up to Red Nose Day
Money raised will help people through the toughest times of their lives
Red Nose Day returns on Friday 17 March
Find out how you can support the team at comicrelief.com/frozen(opens in new window)
Saturday 11th February: A euphoric Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse and Rylan have reached the summit of Cairn Gorm Mountain, bringing an emotional end to their gruelling Red Nose Day challenge, and proving there ain’t no mountain high enough for the drained but determined trio.
As weather conditions improved overnight, the expert guides deemed it safe to resume the challenge after their summit attempt was left hanging in the balance yesterday due to dangerous weather – bringing the final climb to an immediate halt.
Starting at 9am this morning, the team set off on their final 700m climb, feeling completely exhausted but equally determined to finish what they started. With the extra weight of their crampons to deal with, they relied on their ice axes to battle through the snow and reach the top of Cairn Gorm, one of the highest mountains in the UK, at 1,245m above sea level.
Despite the 70mph winds, freezing temperatures, aches, pains, and fatigue of the past three days, all three made it to the top, bringing an emotional close to their extraordinary journey to raise life changing money for Red Nose Day.
Emma Willis said: “Seeing the summit, I just felt overjoyed, and overwhelmed and just a massive sense of relief that we had actually achieved it. I felt so low yesterday, and deflated, and like we’d dropped the ball and let people down. So today it was euphoric – it felt immense, and I couldn’t stop beaming. I thought I would cry when I got to the top, but I got all my tears out yesterday and I’ve just got the biggest smile on my face. I think it’s going to be there for weeks.
“The whole thing has been tough. It’s been mentally tough, it’s been physically tough, it’s been emotionally tough – but that’s what we’re here for. It’s not a walk in the park, and it shouldn’t be a walk in the park. We’re here to do something hard to raise money and vital funds, for a charity that is helping a lot of people in times of crisis."
Oti Mabuse said: “I kept saying to myself you will do this, you have to do this, you will get to the top no matter how long it takes. I was constantly telling myself you’re not getting off this mountain, you’re going to the peak.
“The moment I saw the summit I felt this rush of emotion, you get this new push of air. I felt so happy and felt a real sense of achievement. It leaves you feeling like you can achieve anything that you put your mind to."
Rylan said: “This has been the most surreal expedition. I knew it would be physically tough, but it’s been so much more than that. I’ve been on a real journey over the last few days, but standing on the summit in brutally cold winds, I had a massive smile on my face. Thinking about where the money is going makes it feel totally worth it.
“For anyone thinking of sponsoring us, it would be hugely appreciated. Even if it’s a £1, it can make such a difference. Massive thank you for all your support."
Graeme Douglas, Expedition Lead said: “This would have been a challenging climb for even the most experienced trekker, so I am delighted that they got to complete what they set out to do four days ago.
“Gusts of 50mph with average wind of 40mph made even the first part of the climb hazardous as there is less stability, making progress slow and draining energy so quickly. It was a tough, relentless slog in cold conditions at the end where they were fortunate enough that the wind dropped long enough for them to attempt the summit. This is a fantastic achievement and one they should be exceptionally proud of."
Today’s final push brought a triumphant end to what has no doubt been a challenge of a lifetime that has seen Emma, Oti and Rylan encounter difficulties far beyond anything they could have ever expected. Since leaving Braemar on Wednesday they have trekked and wild camped in the Scottish Highlands and navigated some of the regions toughest wintry weather conditions.
But that’s not the end of the story. All the highs and lows, twist and turns, and up-close drama of the turbulent trek have been captured for a special documentary, produced by Twofour, which will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the run up to Red Nose Day, which returns on Friday 17 March.
The money raised will help support people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, and food poverty here in the UK and around the world. A portion of money raised throughout the Red Nose Day campaign will also go towards the emergency response to the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Donations will help to fund organisations providing essential support including blankets, food, water and medical supplies.
While Emma, Oti, and Rylan have reached the end of their journey there is still time to donate if you can. To support the team's heroic efforts, please visit comicrelief.com/frozen(opens in new window)
Emma, Oti and Rylan completing their challenge, plus previous days images; as well as images of them in training for the challenge. Available here (opens in new window)(credit – Comic Relief / Hamish Frost)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day is back on Friday 17 March 2023.
Once a year, we all come together to help those who need it most – and we have a great time doing it. So, this year, whether you bake a cake or sponsor your mates, buy a Red Nose or donate on your phone, let’s make Red Nose Day the best day ever. Together we can help people going through the toughest times of their lives and help them break free from the effects of poverty, in the UK and around the world.
Whatever you’re able to do this year - you’ll be part of something incredible and most importantly you’ll be helping to change people’s lives for the better. Visit www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday(opens in new window) or follow @ComicRelief on social media for the latest Red Nose Day content, news and information.
Red Nose Day is an initiative of Comic Relief.
About Comic Relief
Comic Relief uses the power of humour and popular culture to engage people to help others and raises money to support organisations working towards a just world free from poverty.
Our mission combines Comic and Relief. We believe that helping others can be easy and fun, even in the face of the challenges we face every day.
Everyone should be able to have a decent standard of living and to live life with dignity and respect – but right now, in the UK and around the world, poverty and injustice restrict too many of us. We know that a better world is possible. We provide funding to fantastic organisations who are closest to the communities who can make change happen. We support work that will help to alleviate poverty’s consequences, tackle related injustices, and address the link between climate change and poverty.
For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit www.comicrelief.com(opens in new window) or follow @ComicRelief on social media for the latest content, news and information.
Comic Relief is the operating name of Charity Projects, registered charity in England & Wales (326568) and Scotland (SC039730).