When ‘PoleKitty’ left a comment on a post we wrote in February about the Gear needed to climb Ben Nevis, the name made us wonder if it was spam at first. We soon realised it wasn’t as we watched in awe at the sight of Kat pole dancing at the top of Ben Nevis, as part of the 3-Peaks Challenge. The video is below.
Once we’d watched the video we decided to contact Kat to find out more about this rather odd celebration at the top of Ben Nevis. We wanted to know what had driven her to do it, and if there was any other mad outdoor stunts she had done. Here is our interview with Kat ‘PoleKitty’ Humphrey, outdoor enthusiast & extreme pole dancer!
What drove you to pole dance at the summit of Ben Nevis?
For me, pole dancing is an addiction, and I can’t go out now without wanting to pole dance on every lamppost, railing and tube train I see, which in the interests of health & safety, is not always advisable! Apart from satisfying the adrenaline junky in me and having the ability to say that I am the first known person to pole dance on Ben Nevis, I also did it to raise money for three cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, and Ovarian Cancer Action.
How heavy was your pack?
During the 3-peak challenge my pack was the normal kind of things you’d expect: water, food, spare and waterproof clothing etc, including the pack it was around 7kg. When it came to Ben Nevis, I also took the pole up, this added huge extra weight of 28kg. So I climbed Ben Nevis with a pack of around 35kg!
That is a pretty huge pack, did it hurt?
Yes, honestly it did hurt, for several reasons. Firstly carrying the weight equivalent to a small person for 8 hours is gruelling, especially up steep inclines! Furthermore, I have a nerve condition called Meralgia Paresthetica, caused by a damaged L2 nerve from my spine, meaning that I have no surface or pressure sensation in my right leg. Instead I have a constant burning pain, and it causes me knee and hip problems.
It sounds like you’re a trooper! Was it scary?
There were a few scary moments, for example the pole was at angle so a couple of times I was actually suspended off the side of the mountain’s edge. I also lost my footing a couple of time on the way back down and the weight of the pack pulled me backwards. But, it was all worth it for the unique experience of being the first person to pole dance on Ben Nevis. I had a good team of people looking out for me and completed the Three Peaks Challenge in under 30 hours with little more than a twisted ankle and very tired legs!
Congratulations to both you and your team.
Was this the first time you’ve done something this “mad”?
I am renowned for doing crazy things for charity – last year I completed the Tough Guy Challenge, known as the world’s toughest assault course, involving ice lake swims, mud slides, barbed-wire crawls, under-water tunnels, electric fences and fields of fire!
If you ask any of my friends I am quite mad and can often be found pole dancing in the most crazy of places. If you find me some scaffolding I’ll make use of it, the same with lampposts and other “ordinary” street furniture.
It sounds like you’re always having fun! What’s your next big challenge?
In November I am cycling 400km across Kenya in 5 days and pole dancing in the Kenyan desert! I’m trying to raise £2,800 for the three cancer charities and have set up a just-giving website: www.justgiving.com/katherine-humphrey Although it wasn’t apparent when I first set up the site, I have since had a close encounter with Cervical Cancer myself, so these charities mean even more to me then they did before.
Kat is now on her cycling tour of Kenya! She is “pole dancing where no one has before” and teaching Kenyan’s en-route. Kat will hopefully be joining us to give an update when she returns, with lots of pictures too we hope. In the mean time keep clicking the Just Giving link above and donating to 3 Cancer Charities. ~ Updated 21/11/11 20.44 AK
Finally, is there anyone you would like to thank?
Other than my family and friends, who have all been amazing and supportive. I’d like to thank all of my staff at PoleKatFitness where we use pole dancing to increase fitness levels in a fun way, the staff have all supported my efforts and helped to support me. Also a big thank you to those who were in the 3-peak team, without them I wouldn’t have pole danced on Ben Nevis nor made so much money for three charities. Finally, I’d like to thank you, CheapTents, for helping me to bring these charities to peoples attention.
Thanks Kat, it really does sound like a great way to fund raise for three brilliant charities whilst having an awful lot of fun!
If you would like to help support Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, and Ovarian Cancer Action please do dig deep and give kindly to Kat, via her JustGiving website: www.justgiving.com/katherine-humphrey.