A KEIGHLEY woman has beaten major balance and hearing challenges to climb one of England’s highest peaks.

Elizabeth Labbett was supported by friends and family – including physically at some points – as she struggled up 3,117ft-high Helvellyn in the Lake District.

Elizabeth, who suffers from Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear, was cheered by her helpers when she finally reached the top of the third-highest peak in England.

She and her supporters raised £1,140 for the Menieres Society.

Menieres is characterised by hearing loss, feeling like the world is spinning (vertigo) and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Elizabeth said the condition affected nearly all aspects of day-to-day life, and could cause mental health issues.

She said: “Upon considering what I could do to help others with this debilitating illness, I decided to challenge myself to do something completely out of my comfort zone.

“Heights, uneven surfaces and wind are extremely difficult conditions for a Menieres sufferer. It would be an extremely difficult adventure but one I could face with the support of my wonderful friends and family.”

Elizabeth first embarked on practice walks, then the “very difficult” climb of a smaller peak, Pen-y-ghent in the Yorkshire Dales.

After more practice walks she began the ascent of Helvellyn with a group including husband Craig and teenage children Sam and Olivia.

She said: “The weather was horrendous, with torrential rain and strong winds. Visibility was poor and temperatures were very cold.

“I remember very little of the ascent due to being so unwell, but with everyone’s support I gradually made it to the top.

“The feeling of reaching the top was amazing. Everyone clapped – much to my embarrassment! – and I felt immensely proud of myself and the brilliant people who had joined me.”

Anyone wishing to support Elizabeth’s fundraising should visit the ‘Liz’s Helvellyn & Back Mountain Climb Challenge’ page at justgiving.com.