Asif Moghal

Asif's fundraiser for Mind Over Mountains

Fundraising for Mind Over Mountains
£2,043
raised of £5,200 target
by 45 supporters
52 Summits of Pen y Fan
Project 500 is a movement to raise £500,000 for Mind Over Mountains by June 2025, to significantly grow our charity so we can support more people with their mental health across the UK, through therapeutic outdoor experiences.

Story

People are often surprised to learn that my journey to mountaineering began from a point in my life where I struggled with burn out & depression.

It was a dark time but, thanks to the people around me, I found myself at a mindfulness retreat where, surrounded by nature, I discovered an inner stillness and solidity that I never imagined possible. At that moment, I felt hope, I saw a way back to the light, and understood the relationship between mindfulness, being outdoors and my wellbeing.

Sometime after that I was invited to join an expedition to Aconcagua where I experienced that same sense of stillness and solidity, and I was hooked. Climbing became an integral part of my wellbeing routine.

Shortly after returning from an expedition in early 2020, the world went into lock down. All of us struggled to adjust in the face of so many unknowns. Expeditions were out of the question but as soon as restrictions eased, I spent as much time as I could walking up Pen y Fan in any weather, being as present as possible. This is when I became aware of Mind Over Mountains, a charity that brings together walking in nature, mindfulness and time with experienced coaches and counsellors in an unhurried, unpressured setting.

Once restrictions eased even more, I fulfilled my dream of visiting Nepal in 2022. Sat on the slopes of Mera Peak, high above the clouds, gazing out over the mighty Himalayas, I felt that same sense of inner stillness and solidity washing over me. For me, climbing is the perfect counter balance to the fast paced world we live in.

Mountains, mindfulness & seeking support when I need it have become my personal prescription to maintain my wellbeing.

I planned a return in September of 2023 but had to withdraw due to an unexpected blood clot. I was put on blood thinners, told to avoid vigorous exercise, and contact sports of any kind. Climbing, martial arts and fitness had become such an integral part of my identity, and I struggled to find a way forward without them.

Once again, some great people were willing to take a few steps with me along this new path as I adjusted.

While I can exercise again, I'm unsure if I'll be on blood thinners for life or not and I don't know if my dream of climbing an 8000m peak is still a possibility.

So, while I'm figuring all this out, I'm planning to summit Pen y Fan once a week during 2024 to raise money for Mind over Mountains. That's 52 summits, about 23,000m of ascent or 2.6 Mt Everest's.

We've been through a lot over the past few years, and I see people struggling with the stress and anxiety, close to burn out caused by rapid pace of disruption and change. I read that men are less likely to seek help compared to women. So I'm inviting people to join me on any of my walks to the summit for a chat, hot mug of tea at the top, possibly a great view but most importantly a chance to be out in nature.

To some this will seem like a walk in the park whilst to others it may feel like a big step. The point is that when we connect in meaningful ways and support each other, as I was lucky enough to experience during those challenging moments in my life, we uncover new perspectives or resources that just might make that walk in the park, or that big step seem less daunting.

If you would like to join me on one of my weekly summits, contact me directly, and if you are able, please help me support the amazing work of Mind Over Mountains

£30 could fund a set of coaching cards for use on one of their wellbeing retreats.

£60 could fund a follow-on coaching or counselling session for an individual participant.

£90 could fund the full cost of a place on one of their wellbeing walks

Pen y Fan Summit Walk: Your Guide to Joining Me

Picking your date

I'm planning 52 walks to the summit so the easiest way is to start with picking a week number and contact me directly and we can take it from there. It may be that a couple of people join the same walk which is totally fine!

I'm aiming to climb every Thursday morning and reach the summit at sunrise as this best fits my work schedule. But this won't always work out so I'll make up for lost climbs on weekends.

Is the Walk Challenging?

Our goal is to enjoy a mindful walk together rather than racing to the top. Technically, the walk is not challenging; the path is clear and good. Physically, be prepared for a gentle uphill ascent lasting 60 to 90 minutes, depending on our walking speed. If you have concerns about your physical readiness, seek professional medical advice before joining.

What Route Will We Take?

We'll take the most direct route, starting and ending at the Pont Ar Daff Car park. While there are more circular routes, they take several hours. Check them out here. The direct route typically takes 90 to 120 minutes, but remember, it's not a race!

Equipment

Though not very high or difficult, Pen y Fan is still a mountain and needs to be respected. Ensure you have decent walking shoes/boots, appropriate clothing (considering the time of year), a daypack/rucksack for water and snacks, and walking poles if you prefer. Seek advice from a good outdoors shop if you are unsure.

Logistics

If joining, I'd recommend coming to Wales the day before.

By Train: To Cardiff Central station, stay in the city center, or ideally at the Village Hotel Cardiff (link).

By Car: Head straight to the Nant Ddu Hotel Lodge & Spa (link), which is very close to Pen y Fan. and does a great breakfast for after the walk.

I'll pick you up on the morning of our climb and drop you back afterward.

Other Considerations

The goal is to be as present as possible during the walk so let's leave any work conversation down in the car park. However, I'd like to take and share pictures to further raise awareness and funds for Mind over Mountains. If you're uncomfortable with this, please let me know.

If you have more questions, please just ask!

About the campaign

Project 500 is a movement to raise £500,000 for Mind Over Mountains by June 2025, to significantly grow our charity so we can support more people with their mental health across the UK, through therapeutic outdoor experiences.

About the charity

Mind Over Mountains

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1190883
We offer professional mental health support by harnessing the healing power of nature. We bring together hill-walking, mindfulness and time with experienced coaches and counsellors in an unhurried, unpressured setting.

Donation summary

Total raised
£2,042.49
+ £323.25 Gift Aid
Online donations
£2,042.49
Offline donations
£0.00

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