Star Wars fan plans another Imperial march up mountain

By Steven McKenzie
BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Published
Image source, Ashley Broomhall
Image caption, Ashley Broomhall in his Star Wars stormtrooper outfit on Ben Nevis

A Star Wars fan who walked to the tops of Snowdon and Ben Nevis while dressed as a stormtrooper has now set his sights on England's tallest mountain.

Ashley Broomhall trekked to the summit of 3,560ft (1,085m) Snowdon in Snowdonia before tackling Ben Nevis.

It took him seven hours to walk up and down the 4,406ft (1,344m) Scottish peak near Fort William. On the way up he had a snowball fight with other walkers.

He now plans to walk 3,208ft (978m) Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

Mr Broomhall, from Whitchurch in Shropshire, has been doing the walks to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

He set himself the peaks challenge after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

Image source, Ashley Broomhall
Image caption, Mr Broomhall swapped regulation stormtrooper footwear for walking boots

The 28-year-old has been a member of Star Wars costuming club the 501st UK Garrison for more than five years.

Members attend events across the UK dressed in "movie-accurate" costumes to raise funds for charity.

But Mr Broomhall had to make some modifications to his outfit to make it move more freely on the ascents and descents of Snowdon and Ben Nevis, which were done this summer.

For safety reasons, he wore walking boots because his costume footwear was not suitable for the terrain involved and was accompanied by friends.

Image source, Ashley Broomhall
Image caption, Other walkers on Ben Nevis were surprised by Mr Broomhall's appearance

Dressed as an Imperial stormtrooper and carrying a UK Garrison flag, Mr Broomhall said he drew more than his fair share of funny looks tackling Ben Nevis, Scotland highest Munro and Britain's tallest mountain.

He said: "We had been confusing a lot of other climbers along the way as a stormtrooper was the last thing they had been expecting to see climbing Ben Nevis.

"We handed out cards and told them my tale and they offered nothing but the most vocal support."

Mr Broomhall also received donations from other walkers.

Snowball fight

Higher up Ben Nevis he had to negotiate thigh-deep snow.

At the first of these snowfields there was some light relief when he and his walking companion had a snowball fight with other walkers.

Mr Broomhall said: "The last snowfield held the summit and, with my heart swelling with pride, I let the flag fly and charged on to the summit.

"We had made it. It was brilliant and I was so happy at making it after all the struggles and rallying needed to get myself there.

"I was greeted by a cheer from the climbers there and planted the flag on the summit itself claiming it for the Empire."

He added: "I love Scotland and I love Munros and this was a challenge that I enjoyed doing.

"Scafell Pike is next. I've done the other two in armour, might as well do the third in it."

Image source, Ashley Broomhall
Image caption, The trek up and down Britain's tallest mountain took seven hours

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