We’ve both been busy training, working hard, moving houses and changing jobs so we haven’t had much time to post recently.
We’re committed to bringing you the latest news in our fitness journeys and beyond so will be posting more frequently! YAY!
This weekend I took part in the Three Peaks Challenge with my work colleagues. We had 24 hours to climb 3 of the biggest mountains in the UK; Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
We ascended (and therefore descended) around 3000m across the three mountains with 44km walking and 2000km driving. This was no small feat and was way more challenging than we imagined it would be. The only sleep we could get was in the van between the mountains which doesn’t sound too bad, until you realise that the van is going to be quite erratic to get us there on time and there are 6 other sweaty bodies in there with you (I think the smell of man BO is going to be forever in my nostrils). You can’t stop for decent meals so you have to bring a lot of snacks with you, carbs carbs carbs for between the mountains and high sugar snacks and energy gels to carry up the mountains. All of this plus wet weather kit, lots of water and any additional kit you might need in your pack and you’re looking at carrying a fair amount of weight.
As someone who doesn’t eat meat, I also didn’t have any particularly high protein snacks with me. The lads were carrying things like biltong to add that extra bit of protein when their bodies were craving it. I survived on a diet of pasta, Mini Cheddars, Skittles and Veggie Percys as well as energy gels, Lucozade Sport and about 6 litres of water.
It was tough, really tough. I didn’t carry walking poles as I found that they slowed me down on our training weekend. This was a double edged sword; I would have been slowed down by the poles but I would have taken a lot of pressure off of my legs and knees should I have decided to use them. I’m glad that I didn’t.
I am so proud of my body and I feel incredibly strong, my legs held out the whole way, I achieved a time that most people can only hope of getting.
Our final times were:
- Ben Nevis Car Park to Pen-y-pass Car Park: 26 hours, 20 mins
- Peak of Ben Nevis to Peak of Snowdon: 20 hours, 38 mins
We were told before we took on this challenge than anything under 30 hours was an achievement. We smashed that.
The individual mountain timings were:
- Ben Nevis – start 15:00, summit 18:18, 5 hours 31 mins total climb
- Scafell Pike – start 02:30, summit 05:20, 5 hours total climb
- Snowdon – start 12:20, summit 14:56, 4 hours 59 mins total climb
I learnt a lot about myself on this journey, I am stronger than I ever could have imagined and my willpower and stubbornness can be a blessing. I can sleep in a van (something I couldn’t do before) and dribble a lot when I do so. My sense of humour can withstand the toughest of challenges.
Unfortunately, we hit bad weather on both Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. At the top of Nevis we were shrouded in clouds which decided to pour hail, sleet and rain on us as soon as we began our descent. Scafell Pike is hell on Earth and we almost got lost due to the low visibility whilst we made our way through the fog of clouds that surrounded us. Fortunately, another group were coming up at the same time as us and one of them knew the way and helped us get back on track (THANK YOU KIND STRANGER). With drops of thousands of feet hidden around us, we had to make sure that we didn’t put a foot wrong. The wind picked up on all three mountains and was bitingly cold, it whipped around us and we had to keep firm footing to keep from being swept away.
It wasn’t just tough physically and mentally, it was incredibly dangerous too. Thankfully we managed to do it with no casualties and no major injuries. Though there were a few sore bums when some of us fell over on the descents. The paths (when you’re on a path) are made of uneven stones which are very slippery when wet. I was lucky to only fall down on the grass bank which I decided to climb to avoid the dodgy rocks on Scafell Pike.
As we descended Snowdon, with sore knees and heavy eyelids, our spirits were still strong. We reached the finish line after one more bend, just one more, oh wait, yeah, one more bend! And we were full of pride for the stellar effort that we had put in. I think we’ll be feeling this sense of achievement for a few weeks yet and I am so proud of the team that I was with for suffering through the pain and reaching the finish line.
Would I do it again? Maybe, when I forget how horrible Scafell Pike is to climb in the dark and what a disgusting climb it is.
Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely. You’ll never do anything else like it.
Keep an eye out for more posts soon!
This challenge was undertaken in aid of the Haemophilia Society. A UK based charity who do excellent work in supporting those with blood disorders and their families. You can see more about their work here: http://www.haemophilia.org.uk/. You can sponsor us at the following link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Mem3peaks2016