GLAMOUR girls Cherry Crooks and Nicki Carter took getting out their glad rags to a whole new level — as they climbed Britain’s highest mountain in their wedding dresses.
The Widdrington neighbours came up with the challenge to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.
And after chatting to friends and posting their idea online it wasn’t long before others were keen to join them.
Mrs Crooks said: “Our plan was to walk Ben Nevis in a wedding dress.
“The idea came from an amalgamation of different ideas, starting with a ‘before we are 40’ list of adventures and challenges, one being to walk Ben Nevis, another, as a few of us are recently married, to trash the dress in a unique way, and of course to raise a huge amount for charity at the same time.”
The pair chose to complete the trek as part of the Walk To D’feet MND national campaign as their friend Richard Hollis’ mother Susan died in March after battling the disease.
MND causes weakness and wasting of muscles, leading to a loss of mobility in the limbs and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association funds and promotes global research into the disease and provides support for those affected by it.
When the time came to take on the Scottish hike, 17 women and two men had signed up to the fund-raiser, coming from NorthEast communities such as Whitley Bay, Cramlington and Newcastle, as well as further afield, with people from Northampton, Norfolk and Devon, and even France.
All were dressed to impress, either donning wedding dresses or dressed in neon pink for a hen party.
“Despite the poor forecasts we were still up for it and we headed up to Fort William from all over the UK,” said Mrs Crooks.
“We met early in the morning kitted out in our dresses, having no idea what the mountain and the weather had in store for us.
“It was a gruelling trek and a real test for us, but no amount of gale force winds, blizzards and minus 20 wind chill was going to stop us.
“We certainly had a lot of funny looks and questions asked by fellow walkers along the way.
“I suppose passing a succession of walkers in wedding dresses is not a regular sight on Ben Nevis.
“Everyone supported each other during the walk and although we were unable to reach the summit together, everyone made it safely and at their own pace.”
After the walk, the group came together to toast their success with a drink at a nearby pub.
“I am so proud of us all. Not only did we conquer the highest mountain in Britain, we did it in silly dresses and in appalling conditions, and it was all worth it to raise funds and awareness for the MNDA,” said Mrs Crooks.
The group hopes to raise more than £3,000 from the event.
Anyone wishing to contribute can log on to www.justgiving.com/ben-nevis-in-a-wedding-dress