This South Yorkshire couple were as close to cloud nine as you can get for a romantic proposal at the summit of one of the nation’s highest peaks.
Mark Walton proposed to the love of his life Jane Beardshall at the snow-capped top of Ben Nevis – exactly 1,000 days after he had first asked her out at the same spot.
Mark, aged 46, had tricked Jane into thinking they were going on an early morning hike to view the solar eclipse last Friday.
But when they reached the top and were greeted by a total white-out, Mark got down on one knee with a novelty ‘Ben Nevis’ ring.
Jane, 36, said: “I couldn’t stop smiling – it was so romantic.”
Mark, who is head of IT at a tour operator, met veterinary nurse Jane through his sister, who works at the same practice.
I didn’t realise 1,000 days would fall on the solar eclipse day – I couldn’t believe the coincidence
He said: “The staff at the practice were doing the National Three Peaks and at the time I was doing quite a lot of work to try and get fitter.
“My sister invited me along and I met Jane on a few of the training walks. I liked Jane and it turned out she liked me too.”
Mark asked Jane out on a date during the Ben Nevis ascent as part of their National Three Peaks Challenge in June 2012.
Some 1,000 days later, he thought it was apt to return to the same spot to propose.
“I started planning it quite a few months ago,” said Mark.
“I booked two days off work for Jane without her knowing, booked a B&B and got my hands on a tacky Ben Nevis ring – I thought we could choose a proper one together afterwards.
“I didn’t realise 1,000 days would fall on the solar eclipse day – I couldn’t believe the coincidence.”
The couple, of Treeton, near Rotherham, set off walking at 6am. On their way up they met some young men who joined them for the rest of the walk as Mark had a GPS which helped them find the way to the top in the tricky weather conditions.
“It was perfect because then there was someone to take pictures of the proposal,” said Mark.
“I said to Jane, ‘I’ve been fibbing to you, we’re not here for the eclipse. Will you marry me?’.
“She said, ‘Of course I will,’ and we had a big hug.”
Jane added: “He is a great guy. He is so considerate, selfless, thoughtful and caring. He is lovely.”
The couple, who have four children between them from previous relationships, now plan to go shopping for a proper engagement ring before they begin making wedding plans.