Walker’s trek in Iceland to raise cash for charity

Pat Ascroft charity trek to Iceland
Pat Ascroft charity trek to Iceland

A keen walker has completed a five-day charity trek to raise cash for people with learning difficulties.

Pat Ascroft, 77, of Dorchester Road, Garstang, who is well known for enjoying the outdoors and always having her walking boots on, trekked though Iceland in aid of Mencap.

Pat Ascroft charity trek to Iceland

Pat Ascroft charity trek to Iceland

She walked around 15 miles a day, reaching heights of 3,600ft.

The keen walker has taken part in around 10 different charity challenges in places including Africa, India and China, but this is the first time she has been to Iceland.

Pat has been supporting Mencap for around 20 years after she met a woman who was supported by the charity.

She said: “I can’t find enough adjectives to describe our time in Iceland. A country with eight different words describing varying degrees of wind – and I think we experienced them all.”

Pat Ascroft in Iceland

Pat Ascroft in Iceland

Pat, who was in a group of more than 20 people, all raising cash for different causes, said she had experienced snow fields, glaciers and more.

She said: “River crossings proved to be a challenge, sometimes being 100 yards wide and deep enough to require trousers off, sandals on and arm in arm in threes to avoid being pushed over by the icy current.

“And then when you were safely over, dress, dry your feet and hear that there are two more before lunch!” Pat, originally from Catforth, is also known around the area for her entertaining talks to women’s institutes.

She added: “In a country the same size at the British Isles horses and sheep outnumber people. I bought wool garments from a farmers’ market and sampled Brennivin, a schnapps distilled from potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds – it’s nicked named Black Death.”

Along the trek Pat saw numerous volcanoes, including Eyjafjallajokull, referred to as Big E, which brought Europe’s air traffic to a standstill in 2010.

She said: “The trek for me was tough but achievable and if you want to experience elements at their most extreme go to Iceland.

“Twelve different charities benefitted from money raised by the 23 trekkers and I thank all those in Garstang and beyond who have helped people with learning difficulties and their families by supporting the work of Mencap.”

Mencap works with people with learning disabilities and its services support people to live life as they choose.