Initiative Triumph in the National Three Peaks Challenge
Last month, we informed everyone that a group of 12 intrepid explorers from Initiative were attempting to complete The National Three Peaks Challenge. Well, last weekend they began their expedition and they completed climbing all three mountains with the 24 hour time limit, with three seconds to spare! An amazing achievement. Here’s an account from Ben Haley, who completed the challenge alongside Jorge Seeliger, Claire Elsworth, Joe Simmons, Scott Bilbe, James Davies, James Temperley, Finlegh Gordon, Lorna Dobson, Edward Brennan, Rhian Withers and Philippa Harris.
Attempting to stand in 60mph (almost 100kph) winds at the top of Ben Nevis, the general consensus was, “what the hell were we thinking?” The National Three Peaks Challenge, that had been envisioned as summery strolls up and down some of the most picturesque areas in Britain, quickly turned into a soggy, cloudy and windy struggle. Our driver, Fred, pretty much wrote off our chances within half an hour of picking us up at rain-soaked Glasgow airport.
“Last week, a young woman injured her leg, insisted on continuing, then had to call mountain rescue on Scafell Pike. She ruined her team’s chances.” He merrily quipped.
“This other group, they took so long on the first two, that by the time I had to have my legally-obligated break, we were only on the M6. They had to wait there for hours! They weren’t happy.” No, Fred, we bet they weren’t.
Despite all this, we did it! We walked about 23 miles and climbing another two as we (just about) safely ascended and descended the highest peaks in each of Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon), all inside 24 hours. In fact, we had a very efficient three seconds to spare!
The infamous adage is “what goes on tour, stays on tour.” So, while we salute all 12 heroic trekkers, and will protect certain team members’ dignity, here are some individual highlights…
- One person completed the hat-trick and fell over on every mountain at least once, including breaking someone else’s walking pole in the process.
- Several almost gave up on Ben Nevis, but stumbled on.
- Extremities were so cold on Ben Nevis that one person seriously began to contemplate life without fingers.
- Someone’s eyes welled up with tears as their fingers began to defrost.
- Someone accidentally brought a snail on the bus and transported it from Scotland to Wales.
- We witnessed another woman (not in our number!) having a poo on Scafell Pike.
- The bus stank and looked like a pigsty. We’re all responsible for that.
Best of all, we all maintained a sense of humour throughout, and helped each other through some tough moments. All 12 completed the challenge, and have raised almost £5000 for our three chosen charities.
There’s still time to get that sponsorship in so if you havent already, head to their fundraising page and give a donation now!
Or take part in our fund-raising auction – https://www.32auctions.com/initiativeukthreepeaks (closes Friday 7 July).
In summary….never again!