As Tom Nippress left the office on Friday 16th June the enormity of what he was setting out to do began to sink in.
The Coast to Coast is 192 miles long, and Tom’s itinerary was ambitious, averaging about 15 miles a day with no rest days.
Over the 13 days he walked through fields, up hills, down hills, crawled up mountains, scrambled down rockfaces, and soaked his tired feet in cold streams.
The difficulty of this challenge hit home on day 4 when his dad, Paul, who had been providing support went home for a few days taking Tom’s trusty hound, Hector (who had earnt a rest) with him.
Tom spent the next 4 days on his own which was tough, but he really enjoyed it.
“At some points, there was no option but to just keep going as there was nothing around for miles on end.”
Although the Coast to Coast is a popular long-distance trail it is sporadically signposted by design, as it isn’t a recognised national trail and Alfred Wainwright wanted the people who hiked to come up with their own routes. On occasion, this left Tom feeling a little unsure if he was on the right track.
It took Tom 4 days to get from one side of Cumbria to the other and then a further 9 days to get from one side of Yorkshire to the other. He was grateful for the good weather and the spectacular scenery.
Tom encountered some of the more challenging hikes at Rosthwaite, Kidsty Pike and Honister Pass with Kidsty Pike requiring him to ascend 780 metres to the summit before starting his journey back down the other side.
“Watching the donations grow when I had signal was a great boost, and the thank you messages from SNOOP really spurred me on”
Tom set out on this challenge as a way of celebrating his 30th Birthday and to raise money for the charity SNOOP in the process. He set himself a target of £500 and at the time of writing he has raised a whopping £1,250 for SNOOP far surpassing his initial target.
SNOOP’s Jenny Turner commented:
“We have loved following Tom’s Coast to Coast journey. The young adults even had a map to track him across the country! We feel very lucky that Tom chose SNOOP as his charity of choice. As small charity donations like this really do make huge difference to our work and enables us to continue to provide much needed care and support to our children, young adults and families.
We can’t believe that Tom managed to smash and double his fundraising target, such a great achievement. Big shout out to Hector too! We haven’t decided how we will use the money yet but our children and young adults are already coming up with some great ideas!
Once again big thanks to Tom, Hector and everyone who donated. It means the world to us.”
Tom completed the last leg of his epic journey on 1st July, his 30th Birthday. He was met in Robin Hoods Bay by his family and he marked the end by paddling in the sea and enjoying a well-earned drink, before having a Birthday meal.
Those of you who have followed Tom’s journey will remember that the idea for the walk was a long-held ambition inspired by his Grandpa completing the walk in 2009. Sadly, his Grandpa Mike passed away in 2012 but his Grandma, Margery, was there to greet him at the end and she brought along his Grandpa’s diary which he kept whilst completing the route.
Tom’s family and his colleagues at Ison Harrison are very proud of his accomplishment and the money he has raised for SNOOP.
“I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated, it’s greatly appreciated and the money will be able to make such a difference to this wonderful charity”
Tom’s Just Giving page can be found here Crowdfunding to support Special Needs Objective Outreach Project Bradford on JustGiving and it will remain open until the 14th July for anyone who would still like to donate.