Ruth puts her best foot forward as she scales nation’s highest peak

PUBLISHED: 07:51 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:13 01 August 2019

Ruth at the peak of Ben Nevis on July 20. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ruth at the peak of Ben Nevis on July 20. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


A Dunmow woman has achieved an impressive ‘feet’ after scaling the UK’s highest peak with no shoes or socks in aid of a hospice.

Ruth at the base of Ben Nevis. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDRuth at the base of Ben Nevis. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ruth McManus-O'Connel climbed Ben Nevis barefoot on July 20, raising more than £1,000 for St Clare Hospice, based in Hastingwood.

Ruth volunteered at the charity whilst training as a student social worker, and over the past year has witnessed hospice staff caring for patients and their relatives.

She said: "Having seen St Clare's amazing care and support first hand, and knowing that it is mostly funded by voluntary donations, just made me feel that I needed to do my bit to help out.

"Armed with some very tough feet, a decent first aid kit, good company and, most importantly, my faithful walking boots - just in case, I made it to the summit of Ben Nevis.

Ruth giving her feet a rest, on her way to the summit of Ben Nevis. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDRuth giving her feet a rest, on her way to the summit of Ben Nevis. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

"I have been to the summit of Ben Nevis many times now, but the barefoot challenge made this climb extra special and exciting for me. The cloud was very low on the day I climbed, and I was concerned that the summit would be too cold to stay barefoot all the way to the top. However, the weather stayed in my favour and I made it, though it was a somewhat foggy, but mild, summit."

St Clare Hospice cares for people living with terminal or life-limiting illnesses across west Essex and east Hertfordshire.

Ruth added: "St Clare offers such an amazing service to our community, and every penny raised will make a difference to patients and their families. Thank you so much for everyone's kind words, support and donations."

Emma Broadbent, challenges and events fundraiser for the hospice, said: "When Ruth told us she wanted to climb Ben Nevis barefoot, we thought it was such an unusual challenge, but a really exciting and fun achievement for Ruth to have under her belt. We're so grateful for her amazing fundraising during this adventure."

For more information about taking on a challenge in aid of St Clare, visit:

Alternatively, contact Ms Broadbent on 01279 773754 or send an e-mail to

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Dunmow Broadcast. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Dunmow Broadcast