Friendship is motivation for Pawel’s mountain challenge

This weekend Pawel Cymbalista will attempt to run up and down Ben Nevis eight times in a bid to raise funds for his good friend Davy Duncan.

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An adventure runner from Mallaig who is attempting to repay the kindness of friends by running up Ben Nevis a record breaking eight times in 24 hours has had to put his plans on hold due to the weather.

Pawel Cymbalista had planned to kick off his fundraising challenge on Saturday but mountain rescue officers have advised him not to after studying the weekend forecast.

He now plans to take on the run on Saturday, October 9.

Starting at the Ben Nevis Inn, Pawel will be going up and down Ben Nevis throughout the day and night with the aim of breaking a 15-year-old record.

The incentive will be to raise as much money as he can to help his good friend Davy Duncan on the road to recovery after contracting a severe case of Covid earlier this year.

‘Davy is a long term friend of myself and my wife Ashley and he has helped me a lot in my previous adventures,’ said Pawel who completed the UK Big 3 mountain rounds in August this year.

‘We are connected to Davy and his partner Helen Smith by the outdoors which makes it really special. Helen and Davy got me obsessed with the long distance challenges.

‘They are very kind people, always helping everyone, always giving and working incredibly hard. I decided it’s time they should get something back for all they do for the community.’

The Ben Nevis 24h challenge was created by Charlie Anderson from Fort William in 2006. He set the impressive record of six repetitions of the mountain, nearly reaching the height of mount Everest.

A successful repetition will take Pawel up to the summit and down to the Inn, 10miles and 4,413ft each time.

‘I hope to complete eight successful up and downs of Ben Nevis which will give me 3,5485ft of total climb and around 80 miles total distance,’ he told the Lochaber Times.

‘I really like a challenge and after completing the three big UK 24h Mountain challenges I was looking for something else to try. I kept looking up on my old friend Ben Nevis thinking how many times I could go up and down in 24 hours. The idea grew in my head and I started researching.

‘The mountain rounds are all around Everest height in total. My personal goal is to go past that height gaining 10,000m of elevation.’

Pavel has a good support team behind him and has already drafted a rota so they know where he should be at certain times.

He will have someone with him at all times for safety, to carry some of his kit, food and water and for general chat.

‘You need someone that can talk, entertain to stay awake and alert at all times,’ he said.

‘Charlie will be helping me at the top of Ben Nevis during the night. He will make sure I am safe and sound, along with Donna MacDonald.

Ashley will be in charge of the base camp at the Ben Nevis Inn while Pavel also has support from the Polish community, his work colleagues at MOWI and the Blar.

Pavel will also be giving a small donation to Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.

Anyone wishing to donate should visit Pawel’s Go Fund Me page at: