The 3 Peaks certainly was a challenge and have an extremely sore knee and sore muscles to prove, stairs are showing me problems! We were in a group of 7, I walked mostly with a guy called Dave as we had the same pace on. He did 3 Triathlons last year! Brave man.
We set off climbing Ben Nevis 7am Saturday morning. I thought for some reason Ben Nevis was going to be the hardest! It was long and a tough steep path up, we didn’t spend long up the top, just enough time to take a picture then back down. There were traces of last years snow still on the peak which shows how cold it was. My gloves just held the cold which was useless so I had to go gloveless. Oh yeah that wasn’t nice : ) Down hill brings other stresses on the body especially the knees. When your going downhill hill you cross all the people going up hill. Oh how smug you feel on the way down giving positive words of encouragement. We got up and down within 5 hours I think! It rained for most of the time. No time to rest, we’re on the bus getting changed whilst on the move out of wet clothes in to dry. I took my fluffy sleepers, oh yes my bit of heaven!
6 hour drive to Scafell Pike with a de tour on route as the driver was new! Stop for a driver rest. No gloves to buy in the services. Ouch cold hands!
We started our climb at 7pm.. with head torches attached as we only had about 30 mins of daylight left. We crossed many streams marsh land feet very wet, my waterproof socks could only do so much : ) Our estimated time down was 12.00 -12.30 giving plenty of time to drive to Snowdon and complete the challenge within 24 hours! (they actually give it 25.5 due to the EU law on driving and the breaks needed!) The rain is coming down and its getting darker. We start to incline on a rocky path that kinda goes in to no path but just more rock… It gets darker the head torch goes on… The rain is still coming down with a bit of wind thrown in to the mix… We’re crossing lots of waterfalls. Our guide Guy then says I found a short cut which is actually easier… We have to cross a gap in the rocks on a small ledge… Just so you don’t loose the picture its cold, dark raining and windy… This was my biggest challenge! The only good thing about it was you couldn’t see the massive drop below! So on we went, it didn’t get much easier, no easy rock path like Ben Nevis just more rock climbing for another couple of hours : ) We make it to the top by about 10.30 ish… There are 2 other of our groups (our group of 7 all fit and a good pace) Due to the fact the weather is bad. The guides get a bits disoriented so we do a little de tour then find the right path. We start our descent, slow very slow. All 3 groups together. One lady feels is necessary to sing, you may think “oh thats nice” No it wasn’t! It just made the pain of the whole thing worse! : ) When we got past the worst part we got some speed on, making it down by 2.30am. 7 hours on the hill! Everyone felt it. No time to rest back on the bus wet clothed and try and change. Sleepers back on, umm heaven..
4 hour drive to Snowdon – with a driver change at Chester. I think I got some sleep zzzzzz
Get ready in to our wet clothes and boots to make it up the last one. We didn’t start our climb up Snowdon till 7.00 am, We had missed our 24hr deadline. But if we get down by 12.30 we can as they allow 29.5 hours to complete the challenge.
Only 5 of our group take on Snowdon, 2 unable too due to Scafell Pike. It was a tough night.
Off we go on the lovely tarmac path. Bliss! This one I feel will be a walk in the park and its dry. Beautiful scenery! The best out the 3 I think, although unfair as didn’t really see damp Scafell Pike! For the first hour or so an easy windy path, wind starts to pick up and the rain comes down. Oh and then we start the incline up a rock face! That just goes on and on and on. Passing people as they come down saying how windy it is up the top! We hit the top ridge and oh my god! 40mph wind, rain hitting your face, straps off my bag hitting me and stinging my face…. we have another 20 min walk along the ridge before we hit the summit. I saw 2 mountain bikers up the top, when I first saw one, I thought Matthew is that you! : ) It wasn’t. There are flights of steps to the trigg point so for my last bit of the challenge I run and run and its tough but I’m gonna get to the top of this mountain in style. I then have to hold on to the Trigg point as I may blow off…. To get down the steps I go on my bum! Not quite the style I had before! : ) The descent down was painful, both knees sore on every step down. We get down at 11.50. I make Dave run the last 100 yards with me to the gate. We are now walking like the tin man crossed with John Wayne! A funny sight, but we were not alone, as most people had this stance! Dave said “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done”! and that’s after 3 triathlons!