Last month, something impressive happened in Edinburgh. No, I’m not talking about the festival – but the Arthur’s Seat Challenge. Committed climate activist Dave Bell organised the 24 hour race of the UK’s most famous volcano – who could climb Arthur’s Seat the most times in 24 hours?
Andrew Rigg topped the charts, climbing the 131m ascent an impressive 41 times in 24 hours. My legs wobble just thinking about it.
Why put yourself through such pain, I hear you ask?
To turn heads towards environmental action. Together, they encouraged friends to change almost 200 behaviours in support of their challenge, saving as much carbon as 57 flights from Glasgow to Amsterdam.
Here Dave shares his own account of the slightly loopy endeavour.
What were you raising support for? Any particular reason for choosing this challenge?
Purpose of the challenge was to promote awareness and behavioural change for sustainable living. I’ve done this challenge before, 9 years ago. Never thought I’d do it again, but this seemed like a great opportunity to do something stupid enough that it’d get peoples’ attention and encourage them to support!
What made you decide to ask for support through Do Nation, and how did you hear about it?
I’m a Young Leader on the 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leader Development Programme (YLDP), and they set a challenge to raise pledges on Do Nation. This was my way of doing that!
What was the most surprising or exciting pledge someone made?
No surprises as such, but a lot of people said that this was the extra nudge that they needed to make changes they were already thinking about. That’s pretty encouraging!
The challenge itself – how did it go?
It was tough (as expected), particularly in the early hours of the morning, but once the sun came out and other participants and supporters arrived, we had a huge morale boost and the atmosphere was amazing!
Keeping going requires grit and stamina – what motivated you to keep pushing on?
The fact that I’d done it before helped enormously, as did having fresh people joining in the challenge and supporting us. I also like a good physical challenge…
And once done, how did you celebrate?
Having some drinks at base camp with everyone, then going home and having dinner in a nice warm bath!
Finally – any top tips you’d share with someone else raising support on Do Nation?
Lead by example. I committed to go veggie on the day of a birthday BBQ with a good group of friends – provides an excellent segway into talking about why you are encouraging sustainable living and all the small ways you can make a big difference!
You can still support Dave and the other mad Arthurs’ Seat climbers here. I think they deserve it, no?