One man’s mountain is another man’s medical emergency, as 19-year-old Nathan French discovered at the top of Mount Snowdon last Saturday.
The Liverpudlian set himself the mammoth task of climbing the highest peak in Wales to fundraise for Dementia UK, but the nature of modern-day viral charitable giving dictates, no good deed is worth its salt unless you look like an idiot in the undertaking.
So Nathan climbed in his underwear – Superman boxers no less – in a bid to raise awareness for the neurodegenerative disease and subsequently, had to call emergency services when he began to show early signs of hypothermia 1085 metres up at the summit.
No one understands what I've been through today. I have so much to tell. I was getting advised not to do it by numerous people, people where telling my dad to get me because I could do serious damage but the ones who believed in me kept me going. It's just been full of emotion. I broke down after this. I can't thank the people who helped me enough. The people at the top. I did end up getting seen to by an ambulance I was in a bad way here. So many photos with various people from all over the place. I was told i was in a hypothermic state after this. I had to wait for my dad at the top for 10 minutes like this. But I fucking done it. You can't take this away from me. At one point my dad wanted to turn back I had to carry his extra jacket and his bag which I felt was cheating which angered me so I guess to pay back standing at the top for 10 minutes sure was more than enough. I didn't dress, I done this. I love my dad too bits but I've realised after this him and me are just at opposite ends of the scale, kills me like. I must say I've had no sleep I've been awake for 26 hours, we got lost driving here, my flask broke in the bag before I even started. I fell half way up the mountain. All the signs was there not to do it and I just done It. I had people saying the SAS couldn't do this shit. One last thank you to everyone who donated and supported me. My dad walked into my nans room last night and she was just laying there in her jeans, coat on, shoes on, light on, duvet not on her, she was just starring at the wall, she's in pain. This is why I do this. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve. I'm proud of myself. Nothing but love ❤
While many have dubbed the gesture ‘stupid’ Nathan – whose 72-year-old grandma has just been diagnosed with dementia – claims there’s a lot more to his attempts than meet the eye.
The sport, nutrition and health university student told the Liverpool Echo:
For a while I’ve wanted to do something to raise money for Dementia UK. My nan has dementia so it’s something that’s close to my heart.
However the people who know me will know I always like to do something with a bit of a twist and something a bit fun – so that’s how I decided to do the climb in Superman underwear.
Since his story has been picked up by the national media, Nathan has received flack for allegedly wasting the emergency services’ time and feels it’s necessary to set the record straight.
On Instagram, he wrote:
The man seeing me at the bottom and was with me for no longer than 20 minutes, did not have a problem seeing me was entirely helpful and understanding. I actually brought a smile to his face too. Reading the story properly and in depth it was made out I was legit dying…
I was showing the signs of hypothermia yes and he agreed it was early signs but I didn’t want to say this at any point because it’s sounds narcissistic but I’m going to say it – No one’s on my level, no one. I said I could do it and I did it.
The best laid plans of mice and charitable men, eh?
Nathan is planning to climb Ben Nevis for charity next year, but says he’s got many other (albeit metaphorical) mountains to climb along the way.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.