Never shying away from an adventure, the University Rowing Club decided to take on The Three Peaks Challenge; climbing the highest peak in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scaffell Pike), and Wales (Snowdon) within 24 hours. The group of seven used the challenge to raise money Mind: The mental health charity, and have raised just shy of £2,000 so far.
The challenge started at the based of Ben Nevis in Scotland at 16:30 on Saturday the 20th. The mountain, standing at 1,345m above sea level was the largest of the peaks, with the team planning around five hours to get up and down. Off to a great pace from the start, the team raced up the mountain before hitting the snow at the top! It was here they met another group of challengers who quickly became friends as they climbed the final 250m together. The top of the mountain was a different world from the base. Not only was there snow, but they were also in the clouds. The team didn’t have time to stay too long at the top, so a quick photo and it was back down the mountain – a little bit of sliding down the snow helped gain that extra bit of time. As the team descended, the weather cleared, showing spectacular views over the surrounding area! The team finally reached the bottom of the mountain – completing it in 4 hours and 50 minutes. with no time to hang around though, it was back on the bus and straight to Scaffell Pike in the Lake District.
After some excellent driving, the teams arrived at the second mountain 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Scaffell Pike proved to be the hardest of the three mountains, despite having the lowest elevation at 978m. With it being 3 am in the morning, and with low cloud, visibility was poor. After initially walking into the wrong field… the team got onto the mountain pretty quickly following the head torches of other teams completing the challenge at the same time. After deciding to take the quicker, albeit steeper, route up Scaffell, the team reached the summit in just under two hours. With weather progressively getting worse, the group decided to head down the mountain the longer way – finally reaching the bottom and completing the mountain is 4 hours 30 minutes.
The final mountain, Snowdon (1,085m), wasn’t going to be easy, tiered and sore the group marched on. The rowers had just 4 hours and 30 minutes remaining to climb the mountain to complete the challenge within the 24 hour limit. Taking the more direct route – the Pyg track to the top, the group were amongst many other walkers on the mountain. It was certainly great conditions even with a bit of wind – summiting in 2 hours. With not much time remaining, the team didn’t hang around at the top for long, enough for a photo, before heading back down. Opting to take the Miners Trail back which gave the more gradual decent and allowing the opportunity to jog to the finish if needed. With just under 45 minute remaining, the team were within easy reach of the finish – but that wasn’t going to mean they were to ease off, the jog to the finish line began! First over the finish was Dan, followed closely by Amy & Connie. Just behind was Zoe, Oonagh & Rhi & Al. The whole group finished the whole challenge in 23 hours and 30 minutes!
We would like to take this opportunity to also thank Matthew & Alan for being the drivers throughout the challenge and also Blenheim Scouts Bristol for supplying the transport and covering the full cost of fuel – we couldn’t have done it without you. A massive shout out also to all of the members of TeamGlos who gave support via social media throughout the walk.