A SOMERSET man and his friend plan to climb Mount Snowdon in their wheelchairs to raise awareness for the inaccessibility of many hiking spots for disabled people.

Josh Wintersgill, 30, from Shepton Mallet. and Maxwell McKnight, 19, who both have spinal muscular atrophy, hope to set a world record for the fastest climb up Mount Snowdon in a powered wheelchair.

The two disability advocates have raised more than £27,000 so far through their JustGiving page for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Charity UK.

Mr Wintersgill told the PA news agency that the pair will be taking on the challenge in all-terrain wheelchairs with the assistance of 'quite a big team' on June 15 later this year.

Mr Wintersgill, the founder and director of Able Move, which creates products for wheelchair users, said the challenge was “doable with the right support network around us, which we will have”.

“What I’m trying to do is highlight that with the right equipment, people with disabilities that need to use these pieces of equipment can access the outdoors,” he said.

Mr Wintersgill has used his all-terrain wheelchair to do several climbs but has encountered man-made obstacles which have sometimes made his path inaccessible.

“I purchased one of these all-terrain wheelchairs about a year-and-a-half ago, after one of my friends told me that they don’t feel they would be able to go out walking with me because it’s not accessible and it just wouldn’t be the same," he said.

“I thought, well, why shouldn’t I be able to go out and explore the outdoors and do things.”

One of his first climbs was up Pen y Fan in Wales, but after arriving he found that the only pathway had a stile and a locked gate, which he could not get past.

“We literally had to turn around and drive all the way back home, so I wasted five hours because of a padlocked gate,” said Mr Wintersgill.

Mr Wintersgill said there are lots of kissing gates and other obstacles in his area, which makes certain trails inaccessible to wheelchair users.

“As a wheelchair user, I’m not able to go on those routes because of these man-made structures that stopped me from being able to pass through,” he added.

The Mount Snowdon challenge, called Know No Bounds, will be the first time Mr McKnight will be using the all-terrain wheelchair 'out and about'.

“I’m feeling really excited about the challenge to hopefully change somebody’s life within the community," he said.

“Everybody should be able to explore nature by themselves and have the freedom to go outside and not to worry about the safety of themselves.”