Galway woman to climb highest mountain in Europe in aid of Irish Guide Dogs

The early morning runs, aching limbs and blisters won’t stop for Galway woman Marette Nolan who is determined to climb Mount Elbrus in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Marette, who works in Galway as a Personal Lines Insurance Associate at Murray and Spelman hopes that the support she receives from her colleagues, friends and family will help her raise an incredible sum of money for the charity.

Mount Elbrus stands at 5,642 meters and will take Marette ten days to complete. The main obstacles she will face are high altitudes, fog, wind and cold. The Elbrus climate is most favorable to climbing in July and August, when the weather is at its most stable. Even in the summer, night-time temperatures average 18 F (minus 8 C ). Temperatures above the snowline can fall as low as minus 22F (minus 30 C ) during the day during the winter.

This will truly be a test of stamina, and with proper acclimatisation and pleasant weather conditions, you can reach the summit.

Marette said: “I am thrilled to be climbing Mount Elbrus in Russia in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the blind. This is one of the toughest, yet most exhilarating challenges of my life. Knowing that the money I raise will be used to improve the lives of those who are vision impaired is the best part of all and it will feel like an amazing achievement to have climbed Europe’s highest mountain for such a worthy cause.”

Marette’s mother Marian has had genetic conditions called retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration which affected her eye sight since birth. Over the years her sight deteriorated which led to Marian getting in touch with the Irish Guide Dogs. A guide dog is specifically trained to accompany and enable a vision impaired person to move about safely, independently and with confidence. As a result, a beautiful Golden Retriever Yaz (Pictured with Marette, Marian and her family on the right ) came into Marian’s life eight years ago and the difference Yaz made to her life was amazing.

Marette continued: “I can’t imagine my Mum’s life or my own for that matter without him. Sadly, next year Yaz must retire and hopefully get to live out his retirement in the lap of luxury with me. My mum will go onto a new chapter with a new Guide Dog. For now, I wanted to say thank you to Yaz and the Guide Dogs by challenging myself with Mount Elbrus on August 19th.

“Any donation you can make would be greatly appreciated and every cent will be well spent in training dogs to help give people like my mum more independence. 80 per cent of the Irish Guide Dogs for the blind funds comes from fundraising and donations from the public. It costs a whopping €38,000 to create a Guide Dog partnership, so your generosity will enable the charity to help individuals who are blind or vision impaired achieve independence, confidence and mobility.”

You can donate to Marette’s fund using the link: or you can post or drop in your donations for the attention of Marette to the company where she works: Murray & Spelman Insurance and Finance, G.F.S.C, Tuam Road, Galway.

Commenting on Marette’s challenge Director of Murray & Spelman, Joey Wynne said: “It is with immense pleasure that we wish Marette the very best of luck in her challenge to conquer the highest mountain in Europe and we will support her in whatever way we can. We have no doubt that she will succeed and do her family, the Irish Guide Dogs and her colleagues proud.”



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