Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse and Rylan Clark have reached the top of Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountain, ending their Red Nose Day challenge.
Willis, Mabuse and Clark climbed the snowy peak at 1,245 meters above sea level on Saturday after climbing and wild camping for the past three days to raise money for Comic Relief.
The trio’s original attempt to summit was halted on Friday due to dangerous weather conditions approaching the Scottish Highlands.
They were warned on Friday that any attempt to push through to the final summit could be perilous due to winds of 110 km/h and gusts of up to 160 km/h expected at the summit.
As conditions improved overnight, expert guides deemed it safe to resume the challenge.
The celebrities set out from the village of Braemar, near Aberdeen, on Wednesday morning and made their way through the foothills of the southern Cairngorms before setting up camp in windy conditions.
For the past three days they have battled gale-force winds, ice, rain and freezing temperatures.
At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, the team began their final 700-meter climb, feeling “completely exhausted” but “determined” to finish, according to a statement from Comic Relief.
Battling 70 mph winds, freezing temperatures and aches and pains from three days of hiking, the trio relied on crampons and ice axes to navigate the last few feet of the climb.
Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Clark, 34, called the expedition “surreal”.
He added: “I knew it was going to be physically tough, but it’s been so much more than that. I’ve been on a real journey for the past few days, but standing on top in brutally cold winds had a huge smile on my face. When you think about where the money is going, it definitely feels worth it.
“Anyone thinking of sponsoring us would greatly appreciate it. Even if it’s a £1 it can make such a difference. Thank you so much for all your support.”
The Circle presenter Willis, 46, said: “When I saw the top I just felt over the moon and overwhelmed and just a huge sense of relief that we had actually made it.
“I felt so down and deflated yesterday, like we dropped the ball and let people down. So today was euphoric – it felt immense and I couldn’t stop beaming.
“I thought I would cry when I reached the top, but I shed all my tears yesterday and I just got the biggest smile on my face. I think it will be there for weeks.
“It’s all been tough. It’s been tough mentally, it’s been tough physically, it’s been tough emotionally – but that’s what we’re here for. It’s not a walk in the park, and it shouldn’t be a walk in the park We are here to do something hard to raise money and essential funds for a good cause that helps many people in times of crisis.
Dancing On Ice judge Mabuse, 32, also said she felt emotional about reaching the top.
She added: “I kept saying to myself, you are going to do this, you have to do this, you will get to the top no matter how long it takes. I constantly told myself that you don’t get off this mountain, you go to the top.
“The moment I saw the top, I felt a wave of emotion, you get another blast of air. I felt so happy and felt a real sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
Expedition leader Graeme Douglas, who has been with the trio throughout the trip, said the climb would have been challenging “even for the most experienced trekker”.
He added: “Gusts of 80km/h with an average wind of 65km/h made even the first part of the climb dangerous as there is less stability, progress is slow and energy drains so quickly. It was a tough, relentless slog in cold conditions at the end where they were lucky enough to have the wind blow long enough to attempt the summit. This is a fantastic achievement that they should be very proud of.”
Donations can still be made at comicrelief.com/frozen.
The trio’s adventure has been filmed for a documentary, Frozen: Emma, Oti And Rylan’s Red Nose Day Challenge, which will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the run-up to Red Nose Day.
The money raised for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day helps reduce the cost of living and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health problems and food poverty in the UK and around the world.
Part of the money raised will also go to emergency relief after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
– Red Nose Day returns to BBC One on March 17 with hosts AJ Odudu, David Tennant, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball.