Sanctuary Staff Attempt to Climb
10 Highest Mountains in Scotland in 48 Hours
Two members of staff from the National Seal Sanctuary and two Sanctuary supporters have battled against the odds in a bid to climb 10 of the highest mountain peaks in Scotland, in the space of just 48 hours to raise money for the Sanctuary.

James Hankins, Tamara Cooper, Chris Ellis and Al Edwards braved the epic voyage in a bid to raise money in memory of the Sanctuary's Arctic Hooded seal, Sahara, who sadly passed away recently.

The team set themselves the task of attempting to climb 10 of the highest peaks in Scotland within a time limit of 48 hours. "We wanted to do something spectacular that hasn't been done before as far as we know" said the Sanctuary's James Hankins. "Sahara was definitely a favourite at the Sanctuary, so it was an honour to be able to do it in his memory".
James Hankins
Chris Ellis and Tamara Cooper The 10 peaks included Ben Nevis, Ben Macdui, Braerach, Cairn Toul, Sgor An Lochain Uaine, Cairn Gorm, Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag, Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Lawers; with the highest being a staggering 4406ft high!

The group managed to climb 7 mountains, before being forced to retreat due to sheet ice. "Unfortunately we couldn't go on due to ice on the mountains becoming really bad" said Tamara Cooper. "We are so proud of what we have achieved, most of the team hurt their knees from so much climbing and I had blisters on top of blisters!".
Sahara made national press and television news in 2007 after being rescued for the second time in two years from the coast of the Mediterranean….more than 1,000 miles from his home on the Arctic ice pack.

After his first rescue from Morocco the Sanctuary organised a mission to ferry him to the seas off the Orkney Islands, in the hope he would then continue north. Instead he turned round and swam all the way back to southern Spain.
Al Edwards, Tamara Cooper and Chris Ellis
Sahara the Arctic Hooded Seal The Sanctuary had been his permanent home before sadly passing away, and plans were being made to create an Arctic-style enclosure for his own exclusive enjoyment.

The team have managed to raise nearly £1,000 from the climb, and this will go towards helping the Sanctuary as it prepares for another season of pup rescue.

This season was a busy one, with 49 seal pups needing rescuing from around the Cornish coast. Each pup costs an average of £1,500 to rehabilitate, with some seals needing extra treatment which can cost up to £5,000.
If you would like to help the Sanctuary raise even more money, please either call the Sanctuary on 01326 221361 or by clicking on this link.

Press release issued by the National Seal Sanctuary
For more information, please contact Laura Ward on 01326 221361
Issue date: 9th July 2010

Image 1: James Hankins
Image 2: Chris Ellis and Tamara Cooper
Image 3: Al Edwards, Tamara Cooper and Chris Ellis
Image 4: Sahara the Arctic Hooded Seal