On February the 5th 2022, a team from Old Chapel Cellars (OCC) Wine Shop and Motive8 Me Fitness in Truro tackled the gruelling challenge of a 24km climb up Pen y Fan - the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons (think SAS Selection Course) - carrying a 16kg weight on their backs, equivalent to 12 bottles of wine.

The idea was Jamie's (Founder of OCC) who not only "fancied a challenge", roping in some mates, including Old Chapel's Steve Brown and Motive8 Me's Jez Mancer, but wanted to raise money and awareness for local mental health charity Man Down Cornwall.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men in their 40s and Cornwall has one of the highest rates in the country. Man Down Cornwall is a charity that runs confidential, relaxed, informal and non judgemental safe talking and listening spaces in 18 different locations across Cornwall, with plans to extend this to 33 covering the whole county. The aim is to shake off the taboo and squash the stigma attached to men's mental health, and to reduce the number of male suicides in Cornwall.

The climb took place in the morning and the weather conditions at the base of the mountain were overcast with a slight breeze of around 6 degrees. As soon as the Thunderflash went off (a pyrotechnic device used to stimulate a grenade sound) there was an instant uphill climb. In a short distance the wind already started to pick up, the temperate plummeted and the thick mist rolled in. Soon visibility became really poor and the guys were making their way up the mountain through sheets of ice. 

It wasn't long before winds were reaching 70mph and then the rain began. At one point Jamie described himself as soley concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other to keep his balance as he fought those howling sideways winds. The expectations of this climb were difficult to know but now having completed it Jamie can only describe it as "fucking hard". Steve also had something to say about his journey up Pen Y Fan.. "It was the most unpleasant experience I've ever had". 

Even though the climb was so tough, Jamie still managed to complete it in the pass mark time for Special Forces selection at 4 hours and 1 minute. On completing the climb Jamie's first thought was how he was going to make it 300yrds back to the car as his whole body was in agony and continued that way for 3 more days. Overall the team who took part says it was a great challenge and gave them a real feel good factor especially as they managed to raise just over an incredible £2,000 for our local charity Man Down. 

 We would like to thank everyone who showed support and kindly donated, it was a great achievement and the money will help the charity to continue with all the great things they are doing to prevent male suicide in Cornwall. For more information or to make a donation, visit mandown-cornwall.co.uk.