Blind man’s Ben Nevis feat

Miles and guid dog Bilbo at the summit of Bev Nevis
Miles and guid dog Bilbo at the summit of Bev Nevis

A BLIND man who lives in Kirkcaldy has told of his sense of achievement when he reached the summit of Scotland’s highest mountain.

Miles Butcher, who is originally from New Zealand, held on to a friend’s rucksack to navigate the often perilous slopes of Ben Nevis, while his guide dog Bilbo ran alongside him.

And he said that the sense of accomplishment when he finally conquered the summit was “tremendous”.

Miles (65), who lived in Orkney before moving to the Lang Toun eight years ago, has been registered blind for 25 years.

He first attempted to climb the peak on a trip to Fort William with his family last year. However, the weather was too hot and they had to turn back due to lack of water.

He said: “I was determined it was not going to get the better of me, so me and eight friends and family decided to try again, and I made it a sponsored event in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind which provided me with my dog Bilbo.

“The first hour and a half was hard going as it was covered in boulders and rocks which was arduous, but then further up I heard the tinkling of running water which was very peaceful, and when we got nearer the top we hit a patch of quite deep snow which made it slow going.

“But when we got to the top and I felt the wind on my face and everyone was describing how beautiful the view was it was an amazing feeling.”

Miles is a musician who still teaches guitar in Fife. His climb has raised around £1000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To help boost his fundraising total visit: justgiving/freyathomson.