Posted Thu 25 May 2017
A TORI team took fundraising for CLIC Sargent to new heights this week! An intrepid team took on the '3 Peaks Challenge' which involves scaling the 3 highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon - within 24 hours. That's a combined height of 3,048m!
After a flight from London to Inverness and a drive from there to Fort William, Paul Lowrie, Wiktoria Bartusik, Michael Bowyer, Jon Crowder and Ben Fawcett started the clock and set off on their first peak at 6.30pm on Wednesday 24th May. Ben Nevis is the highest and hardest of the 3 peaks so the team were apprehensive about the challenge they were about to face. To add to the difficult terrain and steepness of the climb, there was very heavy fog and it had started to rain. Nonetheless, the team started their climb armed with torches and in good spirits. The challengers ascended and descended Ben Nevis in an incredible 5 and a half hours, much quicker than the average time to do it. They were met with snow at the top of the mountain and reported that most of the walk they were unable to see more than 2 metres in front of them. After a quick clothing change and refuel, it was down to the support team of Katie Lawton, Lewis Cocker and Matthew Pryke to get the walkers from Scotland to the Lake District for the second peak – Scafell Pike. This was a long drive overnight so the challengers did their best to sleep while the drivers navigated the roads. The roads in Scotland were particularly tricky due to the thick fog and large deer scattered on and by the side of the road in one part.
Eventually, they arrived in the picturesque Lake District where the sun had just risen and parked up for the 2nd trek. While Scafell Pike is the smallest of the 3 peaks, it is considered a very tough climb and unfortunately after an ankle injury, Ben had to drop out of the challenge. The remaining 4 climbers, tired and aching, took on the 2nd peak at 6.30am Thursday 25th May. Meanwhile, the drivers used this time to get some much-needed sleep after driving through the night. Paul, Wiktoria, Michael and Jon completed Scafell Pike in 3 and a half hours, which was a great time and they were still on track to complete the challenge on time.
Next, the team drove to the final destination, Snowdon, North Wales. Unfortunately, the roads were slow at times due to road works and an accident near Wales resulting in a diversion meant that the pressure was beginning to settle in. Luckily, the team made it to the base of Snowdon at 2.30pm and had a comfortable 4 hours to ascend and descend the mountain. In spite of this, the team were very tired and sore and motivation was low. A couple of the walkers were worried that their knees wouldn't hold up for the duration of the walk as they were very stiff and swollen. Thankfully, the sun was beaming down on the beautiful scenery so the hikers stripped down to their T-shirts and shorts, lathered up in suncream and hit the final path, drivers encouragingly waving them off.
The drivers were expecting the walkers to complete Snowdon in 3 and a half hours due to their quick times on the 2 previous peaks, meaning they would arrive back at 6pm. It got to 6.15pm and they started to worry. What if they weren't going to make it? If they weren't back at base by 6.30pm they would have failed the challenge! At 6.20pm the drivers saw a striking red T-shirt coming into view from behind some rocks, it was Paul! Close behind him was the rest of the group, Michael, Jon and Wiktoria. As the drivers waved and hollered, they picked up the pace for the final few metres. They'd done it! With only 10 minutes to go, they successfully completed the '3 Peaks Challenge', the 3 highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours.
If you want to make their sore feet worthwhile – but more importantly help them raise funds for the incredible work done by CLIC Sargent for children with cancer, you can sponsor them here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TORIGlobal3PeaksChallenge