SCOUT groups scaled lofty heights to help raise funds for villagers in Nepal.
Around 200 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from Portsmouth and Hampshire climbed the stairs of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower for the cause.
The team of youngsters trekked the tower’s 560 steps and raised more than £2,000 towards improving the lives of people living in the village of Meghuali.
Those taking part were given a certificate and a limited edition Spinnaker challenge badge for their uniforms to commemorate them reaching the top.
Hampshire Scouting, which is linked to a Scout group in Meghuali, organised the day and urged stair climbers to raise a minimum of £12 to take part.
But many raised far more, including eight cub members from Third Gosport Sea Scout group who collected £200.
Tony Compton, Third Gosport Scout leader, said: ‘Our group thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the stair climb.
‘They all commented on how fascinating it was to climb up the tower and look out to see the spectacular views across the Historic Dockyard and the Solent.
‘I was surprised because I thought they might find it tough or feel tired from doing it. But it didn’t seem to faze them. After they reached the top they wanted to come back down in the lift and do it all again.
‘A lot of kids on the day even expressed an interest in wanting to do an abseil down the tower in the future!’
Paul Shutt, who organised the day on behalf of Hampshire Scouting, said: ‘Some of the 14-year-old boys made it up to the top in seven minutes.
‘Some of the younger kids didn’t know what they were in for, but they were all full of beans and excitement.’
Mia Decaen, duty manager at the tower, added: ‘The kids were all so excited and I was very surprised at how quickly they managed to complete the climb.
‘They should be very proud of themselves.’
The climb also marked the launch of Namaste Nepal, a project which will see young adults and teenagers from Hampshire Scouting embark on an expedition to Nepal in 2014.
The group will build water wells and refurbish a clinic in the Southern Asian region before taking part in a jungle jamboree.
Mike Efthimiou, a member of staff at the tower, said: ‘It’s really inspiring to see so many people give up their time to raise money for charity.
‘I’ve climbed those stairs myself and it’s no mean feat, so well done to all of them.’