The Three Peaks Challenge

The idea to do the Three Peaks Challenge was originally discussed back in the summer, with the sun shining. It all seemed like such a great idea at the time!

The 3 Peaks Challenge is a 24 hour timed challenge comprising of climbing the three highest peaks in Britain (Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales), over 1,100 miles by road, 10.000ft and 27 miles to climb to complete it successfully. Myself, SAC Sweet, a Fire-fighter at RAF Marham and close friend Jason Perkins wanted to combine our challenge with raising as much money as we possibly could in one month leading up to the event. Our chosen charity was “Combat Stress”, a charity which helps provide support for ex-service personnel suffering with Post Traumatic Stress. Our intended target was to raise £300 between us.

The challenge was more gruelling than anything either of us had ever experienced,  in the beginning of winter with very short daylight hours. We completed our first two mountains on schedule, whilst experiencing heavy snowfall at the top of Ben Nevis and intense winds at the summit of Scarfell Pike. We arrived at Snowdon our final mountain just after midnight, leaving ourselves 4 hours and 20 minutes to complete the challenge successfully. Unfortunately due to ferocious winds even at the base of the mountain which nearly ripped the door off the car when we attempted to get out, no-one was attempting to climb Snowdon that morning and we realised we weren’t going to be able to either. We debated what to do and came to the decision that we would pause our stop watch and wait around to see if the weather improved. Fast forward ten hours of waiting and sitting in our car being rocked by the winds, we finally decided that we felt the wind had dropped sufficiently to attempt our final climb.

We re-started the stop watch and managed to complete our climb up and down in 4 hours and 10 minutes! This meant if we hadn’t been delayed by bad weather we would have made it within the time limit. Completing the Challenge meant a lot to us and we felt it was important given the level of support we had received and the very generous donations made. We couldn’t compromise on safety and it would have been foolish to climb in dangerous conditions, so the delay was inevitable and we thank everyone for their support and understanding. We were blown away when we returned from our challenge and discovered that our final total had risen to £550! Hopefully our money raised makes a difference to the charity and maybe one day we may attempt it once more!

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