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Virtual Climbing Challenge

Virtual Climbing Challenge

“Ain’t no mountain high enough!”


As part of the Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-22nd May), the Sports Service are inviting individuals, Teams, Clubs, Departments and Colleges to join them in completing a Virtual Climbing Challenge.

There are a range of different individual, family and group challenges that you can take on from climbing the University Library Tower to scaling a mountain! You can do them in a day or across a week depending on the time you have available and your current fitness levels.  There will also be the option to raise money for the University COVID-19 PPE Appeal Fund if you wish.

To complete the challenge(s) you can use your stairs, a step, a local hill or fitness machine (if you have one available!). The idea is to count the steps/distance as you move upwards (Sorry, the downhill parts don’t count towards the total!). You can walk, run, cycle or literally climb, and if you want to wear fancy dress then please do go for it!

The Sports Service staff will aim to climb the equivalent of Mt Everest in a day on Monday 18th May!

We have provided some example challenges below, but please feel free to find your own climbing challenge that is meaningful to you! If you like, you can share our template challenge card below and take a selfie before you start for your social media pages.

Social Media Image 

Social Media Image 2 


The Climbing Challenges

Cambridge Challenge - 1, 2, or all three

Building  Number of Steps Building Height

Great St Mary's Church

123 steps


Kings College Chapel

210 steps


University Library Tower

247 steps


All three Buildings

580 steps



Landmarks Challenge (this might need to be a team effort!)

Landmark Number of Steps Landmark Height

Sydney Opera House, Australia

425 steps


The Gherkin, London

1,058 steps


The Shard, London 1,800 steps 310m
Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia 2,860 steps 452m

CN Tower, Toronto

3,500 steps


Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

5,250 steps




Mountains Challenge (this might need to be a college/department challenge – the Sports Service staff are aiming to climb Everest in a day!)

Mountain Number of Steps  Mountain Height

Ben Nevis, Scotland

7,905 steps

4,408 ft (1,345m)

Mount Olympus, Greece

18,400 steps

9,570 ft (2,917m)

Mont Blanc, France

30,420 steps

15,774 ft (4,808m)

Mt Everest, Nepal

52,047 steps

29,028 ft (8,848m)


For more information, please visit the information pack.


Physical Activity and Mental Health

If you don’t feel that his challenge is for you at this time then please do take a look at what other activities are available as part of Mental Health Awareness Week:

We also have a range of articles and activity ideas on our website.


Fundraising for the University COVID-19 PPE Fund

Whilst we may have gone past the first peak, we all recognise that COVID-19 will be with us for some time.

As such, the Sports Service has set up a Virtual Climbing Challenge donation page in collaboration with CUDAR (Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations) for anyone that would like to use this challenge to raise money for the University PPE Fund. Please note that it is not essential to raise money to participate in the challenge, it is just there as an option if you wish.

You could pick a challenge and make a personal donation to the fund on completion. Or you could get friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you.


About the Fund…

The aim of the University’s PPE appeal is to ensure that high-grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available for health and social care professionals, caring for patients with COVID-19 in hospitals and care homes in Cambridge and the East of England. A team of Cambridge doctors, nurses, scientists and engineers (led by Sadaf Farooqi and Toni Vidal Puig) are working with their academic collaborators in the UK, China and other countries to purchase PPE at scale. The Appeal team want to guarantee the safety and protection of frontline staff, so they can focus entirely on what they do best - caring for patients. The money raised by the fund will go towards purchasing:

  • Safety Goggles
  • FFP2 and FFP3 respirator masks (that prevent inhalation of the virus)
  • Surgical gowns

£150 buys enough FFP3 respirator masks for the clinical team who care for one patient in Intensive Care, to wear for one day.

If individually we can raise/donate a small amount, then collectively we can reach a sum that can make a real difference to the Appeal.

You can find more information about the Appeal by visiting their website -


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