Tees

North Yorkshire man's ashes to be scattered on Roseberry Topping

Keith Heaviside Image copyright KTD Media
Image caption Mr Heaviside climbed the hill the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 220 times

A hiker from North Yorkshire is to have his ashes scattered on a hill he climbed no fewer than 6,100 times.

Keith Heaviside, from Great Ayton, walked up the 320m (1,049ft) Roseberry Topping several days a week for 20 years before he died aged 83.

Friends from the Last of the Summer Wine Group, a walking club, said it was his "calling" to reach the summit through rain, sleet and snow.

Now his family plan to scatter half of his ashes on his "beloved" hill.

The rest of his ashes will be scattered over the grave of his late wife Joan in a cemetery in the village of Great Ayton, which is overlooked by the peak.

'Huge affection'

Mr Heaviside claimed he knew every rock on the route to the cairn at the top of Roseberry Topping, which overlooks North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and County Durham.

The retired research chemist celebrated his 80th birthday at the summit with sandwiches and a tot of whisky.

His friend Ray Pinder, 71, said: "He had such huge affection for it and he loved being up there more than anything.

"He retired when he was in his late 50s and that's when he started to climb the hill every day but Saturdays.

"It was about keeping fit in his retirement, but there was also a real affinity with the hill - he saw the seasons change as he went along.

"There were times when he and I walked through snow almost as deep as our waists and times we crawled to the peak in winds so strong we couldn't stand up.

"He had to get to the top every time, there was no weather condition too severe to stop him."

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