Man climbs up Ben Nevis in high heels

Ben Conway, a daring student who has ditched his hiking boots to climb up Britain's highest peak in a pair of five-inch heels. PA
Ben Conway, a daring student who has ditched his hiking boots to climb up Britain's highest peak in a pair of five-inch heels. PA
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A daring student has ditched his hiking boots to climb up Britain’s highest peak in a pair of five-inch heels.

Ben Conway, from London, endured rain, gales and a rocky path to make it more than two-thirds of the way up Ben Nevis in stilettos before deciding to call it quits.

The “High Heel Hiker”, as he is now known, raised money for equality charity Stonewall and Sal’s Shoes, a charity which works to bring shoes to barefoot children.

The 19-year-old originally had the idea as a way to make himself stand out in an application for a scholarship for the School of Communication Arts in Brixton.

He said: “Before it became about fundraising, it started as a thing for the scholarship application. They asked us to make them passionate about something that we are passionate about.

“I needed to think of something difficult to do and I also love drag culture. I have also been scouting for 13 years and the challenge sort of married the two.

“I picked Ben Nevis because it is the biggest. I thought if I’m going to go for it, I’m going to go for it properly. It was all a bit spontaneous.”

Mr Conway was joined on the epic hike by Callum MacKenzie Allen, a friend from his art foundation year who filmed the journey for a two-minute video for the application.

The pair were accompanied by a guide and started their ascent at 8am on June 27 before climbing for five hours to reach 900m.

In the video, Mr Conway - who made his way back down the mountain in hiking boots - can be seen attracting attention from other hikers before posing for photographs as he makes his ascent.

He added: “I’ve never climbed up a mountain before and it was also my first time in heels.

“Most people have been super positive but some people have been down on it, saying I should have thought about health and safety.

“I’ve hurt myself more on nights-out in London than wearing high heels up the mountain because I had socks and bandages on.”

He also says the experience has not put him off taking on another hiking challenge in high heels.

He said: “Raising money for charity brings happiness to people’s lives and if I can do something ridiculous and bring someone happiness, then that’s what it’s all about.”