FAMILY and friends of missing climber Grant Cunliffe are walking the Three Peaks in April to raise money for the Cairngorm mountain rescue charity.
Mr Cunliffe, who should have celebrated his 50th birthday two weeks ago, went missing in the Cairngorms in Scotland last month and has not been seen since Thursday, January 19th.
A three-day search for Mr Cunliffe, a former Barnoldswick hairdresser, involved 180 rescue personnel from Northern Constabulary, the RAF and Cairngorm and Braemar Mountain Rescue teams with dogs but was called off on Tuesday, January 24th after no sign of him.
Some of the volunteers looking for Mr Cunliffe had a daily four-hour drive home after several gruelling days searching on the Cairngorm Mountains, a key reason why the family are doing the walk.
The family haven’t given up hope on finding Mr Cunliffe but are resigned to the fact he is probably dead.
His daughter, Jessica (21), has postponed her wedding on Sunday, April 29th and will now take on the Three Peaks Challenge on that date with her sister Olivia (16) and 10 other family members and friends.
In the spirit of their father, a keen walker and climber who worked as a freelance outdoor instructor, expedition leader, trainer and assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, the girls have challenged the group to complete Whernside, Phenyghent and Ingleborough in a nine to 12 hours.
Jessica said: “My dad climbed the Three Peaks in his 30s and 40s and planned to do it in his 50s. I’ve been meaning to do it for the last three years. I’ve climbed all over the UK though including Snowden when I was only four.
“We’re just taking things day by day, it was such a shock. He knew so many people and was an inspirational person. I looked up to him for guidance and advice and he will be a great loss in our lives.
“We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible so show our appreciation and dedication of the search teams looking for my Dad.”
Mr Cunliffe’s mother, Christine Edwards, said: “It makes me feel extremely proud they want to do this. Grant was doing what he wanted to do and the girls are the same. They’re remarkable, I just feel so proud.”
The family has also set up The Grant Cunliffe Memorial Fund and donations into the following bank account will be passed straight on to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team:
Grant Cunliffe Memorial Fund c/o HSBC Bank, Branch Sort Code 40-40-10, Account Number 91470965.
Donations can also be made directly to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team via Paypal at www.cmrt.org.uk.