Published: 16 May 2024

A dad from Abergwesyn has set himself the ultimate challenge of climbing Gran Paradiso (4061 metres high) and then the highest mountain in the Apls in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance.

Daniel Hartford, 41, who runs a sheep farm and large property with his fiancée, will attempt the challenge in July. Daniel will spend six days in Italy and France, which will see him try to climb 4061 metres to reach Gran Paradiso and then a further 4805m to reach Mont Blanc.

Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million every year to keep its helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the roads.

Daniel has set himself the fundraising target of £500 and has already raised a fantastic £235 for the cause.

Daniel, who has lived in Wales for two years, wanted to raise funds for the Wales Air Ambulance after personally seeing how important air ambulances services are. Both Daniel’s parents, on separate occasions, have needed the help of other air ambulances outside of Wales. 

Following multiple operations and treatment they are both now doing well.

He said: “This is a personal challenge but at the same time I would like to raise as many donations as possible for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity because you never know when we might need them to save a life.

“In remote locations the air ambulance is essential and the best way to save someone’s life is to have this essential service.”

The dad-of-three will be joined on the challenge with his friend, Dewi Evans, who is a livestock farmer from Llangamarch Wells. Dewi will be raising funds for a different charity close to his heart - Cancer Research Wales.

The men have been getting lots of training in before the huge challenge, and most weekends have seen them climbing Snowdon, Brecon Beacons and Cambrian mountains. They also set themselves the challenge of taking part in the Welsh Three Peaks.

Dan and Dewi have the following training events lined up; Man v Horse in Llanwrtyd Wells as part of a relay team, Welsh 10 Peaks and if time permits they will also aim to take part in The Welsh 3000s in 24hrs.

Daniel said: “I’m really looking forward to challenge! I’ve always loved being in the hills, as children my brothers and I were always taken to the Lake District by our parents for holidays. We have many special memories of the area and of the times we spent there, this is where my passion of hills came from. Then I was lucky enough to begin skiing as a teenager and have skied nearly every year since. It’s while I have been skiing in the Alps that I’ve looked at the gigantic peaks in amazement and respected anyone that had the strength and mind set to conquer them on foot.”

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery.  

 It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.

As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated air ambulance crews, regardless of where they are based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care.

Hannah Bartlett, Wales Air Ambulance’s said: “Daniel has set himself a huge personal challenge, that most people would shy away from. He has trained thoroughly, and we wish him and Dewi, the best of luck in completing the challenge in aid of two important charities. Daniel knows first-hand how essential air ambulances are, and we’re delighted he wanted to support his our service. Fundraisers, like Daniel’s, will ensure we continue to be there for the people of Wales 24/7.”

You can show your support to Daniel by donating to his JustGiving page here.