3 Peaks In 24 Hours
by Tim Dent
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I’m a firm believer in challenging myself. I usually agree to things without fully thinking it through leading to problems later down the line….however I never learn, especially when a challenge is involved.
I recall the day quite well when a good friend of mine Sarah added me to a Facebook group simply called... 3 Peaks. She later went on to explain that she intended to complete the 3 peaks challenge and wanted companions with her; I of course immediately accepted this invitation and decided to recruit (funny that) some of my more adventure-seeking friends.
2 weeks later we had a group of 8 (1 Brit and 7 Kiwis) and through fantastic organisational skills from Sarah we had our route planned; and quite cleverly we did it on 1 of the bank holiday weekends to give us an extra day to rest.
We all caught a train to Glasgow and skipped off to pick up our rental cars for the long route to our accommodation near Ben Nevis. After running out of Spotify songs and enduring my car games, we made it to Fort William. We all enjoyed a local ale and conversed about what for many was the hardest challenge in our lives.
PEAK 1. BEN NEVIS
We started the ascent at around midday, now Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the British Isles and probably made sense to start there. We were surrounded by such blissful imagery and landscapes that Constable would be proud of. We all finished 6 hours later feeling rather fresh and quietly confident.
PEAK 2. SCAFELL PIKE
The cars all arrived in Cumbria (1 of my many homes) ready to scale England’s biggest mountain, the time was 10pm roughly or so and it was pretty much pitch black. At this point it dawned on me that this was no easy feat, we had of course all come prepared and had head torches to guide our way through fields of sheep and stony walls. I can only speak for myself, however this was the hardest of the 3 and in actual fact the hardest mountain I have hiked. The gradient was terribly steep and with only 5 metres of vision to go by – to say it was a jolly walk in the sticks was far from the truth. We kept to a great pace and arrived at the bottom towards 3am, the first light was glorious and untouched.
Now the drive from Cumbria to Wales was extremely hard and we didn’t have any designated drivers, so it was up to us to switch drivers whilst keeping to a tight schedule.
PEAK 3. SNOWDON
Anyone who has done this walk knows it is extremely overpopulated and takes an age to get to. A short bus ride and a long walk later we started to scale the final hurdle. Bodies aching and mentally tired we struggled through at different paces, the group was slightly split as some were eager to get it done. At the top we pressed for room just like being on a tube in rush hour. We have done it, well nearly – all that was left was the descent…. My legs were really hurting and also my joints, I discovered that running down the mountain was a lot easier and less strenuous on the joints, it is simple science really as you are using your momentum. My friend Shay started to copy me and together we whizzed down the mountain in under 30 minutes; how I mustered the energy is beyond me, but I did.
The team all walked past the finish together with our specially designed t-shirts. What an effort and achievement, a simply marvellous feeling. We picked ourselves up and drove to Liverpool where we desperately needed to wash and change and eat (several thousands of calories needed replacing).
I still love a challenge and I know that I will complete it, but one thing will stay with me that I completed it is style, that was a hugely satisfying feeling. I implore you to do something similar, whether it is physical or mental or for a good cause, I guarantee you will fell alive and want more.
Our team was sponsored by Creative Personnel and we raised money for Addenbrookes Children’s hospice.