AN INTREPID mountaineer came within just a few hundred metres of summiting Britain’s highest peak – wearing five inch stiletto heels.
While many women would struggle to wear the shoes on a night out, Ben Conway donned the lofty £70 heels whilst scaling Ben Nevis.
The gritty hill-walker from London took to the mountain in aid the LGBT charity Stonewall last week but was forced to give up just 400 metres short of the summit.
The 19-year-old student turned round after taking five hours to hobble two-thirds of the way and conditions underfoot were too risky to continue.
In a video posted by Ben, he is seen traversing streams and slippery boulders amid heavy rain and 50mph winds.
Teetering on his five inch (12.5cm) heels he is seen almost going over his ankle points while stepping over large rocks.
Wearing shorts and a jacket, other hill-walkers even stop Ben and even ask for photos with him, with one woman saying: “I was thinking, are my eyes deceiving me?”
After wading through a small stream crossing the path, he is forced to change his socks and tend to a painful looking cut on his ankle. In another section, he is seen binding the shoe to his foot after the strap broke.
Talking about the ambitious challenge Ben said: “It was really about doing something that hadn’t been done before.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone climb Ben Nevis in heels before.
“I had looked at using kitten heels, but I thought to myself – if you’re going to go and do it, do it properly and wear the stilettos.
“When we arrived the guide didn’t know I was going to be wearing heels, but they were really good.
“It was a really horrible day we went up as well, there was 50mph winds and it was p*****g rain.”
According to Ben, the “stripper heels” were completely ruined after the climb, but he managed to escape major injury and blisters, apart from a small cut which can be seen in the video.
He continued: “The shoes weren’t cheap, they were £70 and I’m sure they’re actually called stripper heels.
“I had thought that they might be ok after the climb but they were completely mashed.
“The strap had broke and the patent leather had began to crack and the paint on them was ruined.
“My feet were actually ok wearing them. I had strapped and bandaged them up and wore proper hiking socks, so they were mostly ok.”
Talking about the hardest part of the climb, Ben admitted turning around was difficult to deal with.
He said: “I would say the most challenging point was the beginning and the first hour, but really it was having to stop so close and turn around.
“The realisation I wasn’t going to do it was hard.
“I could have continued in walking boots to the top and put the heels on their but it wouldn’t have been right. I’m quite stubborn and it was all or nothing.
“Towards the end the gravel was really terrible and I kept slipping. We had started at 8:30am and it took five hours to reach 900 metres.
“As you can seen in the video, people were amazing. We had really lovely comments of people saying ‘oh brilliant!’ and others smiling at us.
“Someone even stopped and gave us a £20 donation.”
Currently Ben has raised £140 for the charity, with a target of £200 on his Go Fund Me donation page – https://www.gofundme.com/8u4axo.