Support grows for Three Peaks walk in memory of missing Pendle walker

Grant Cunliffe
Grant Cunliffe

Grant Cunliffe was meant to be walking his daughter down the aisle on Sunday, April 29th on her wedding day.

Instead, Jessica Cunliffe (21) is walking the Three Peaks on that day with family members in his memory after the former Barnoldswick hairdresser went missing in the Cairngorms in January and has not been seen since.

Jessica’s sister Olivia (16) and 10 other close family members will be climbing Whernside, Penyghent and Ingleborough with her to raise money for the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team while marking one of Mr Cunliffe’s favourite walks.

Jessica is also targeting a walk through the Lairig Ghru Pass in the Cairngorms in August, the last known location of her father.

Another search for Mr Cunliffe was postponed at the weekend after heavy snow returned to northern Scotland but 12 search teams with the aid of a helicopter will now set out on April 29th, the day of the walk.

Although the family are resigned to the fact Mr Cunliffe is probably dead, they are hopeful he will be found soon.

Jessica said: “At first it was very easy as it had not sunk in. But it’s a lot worse now as time has gone on. You have got to be strong. He was one of those people I looked up to. He was not just my dad, he was my best friend.

“The mountain rescue teams have been absolutely fantastic really, they have been the most supportive people. They have been out from seven in the morning until 10 at night. You get the sense of feeling that nothing could trouble them.

“They think he’s missing in a north facing corrie and the snow there is still three or four metres deep.

“There are 12 of us doing the walk, just close family and friends. We’re going to put photographs up of him. We’ve not had a funeral so it’s a memorial walk.

“I’m also walking in Scotland in August with a mountain leader on a 40-mile round trip, including through the Lairig Ghru Pass. It’s something I feel I need to do, to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”

To sponsor the Cunliffe family on the walk, sponsor forms are located in Pure Beauty and Angles Hair Salon in Barrowford.

You can also donate to The Grant Cunliffe Memorial Fund, which has received between £3,500 and £4,000 in donations so far, to be split between the Cairngorm and Braemar Mountain Rescue Teams.

The bank account details are: Grant Cunliffe Memorial Fund c/o HSBC Bank, Branch Sort Code 40-40-10, Account Number 91470965.