This week sees the intrepid explorers from Anglian in their final preparations before they leave with their support crew of Stu Haysman, Dave McGee and Jeremy Graham, who will be driving the team between peaks for the start of the 3 Peak Challenge on Friday.
The climb includes the ascent and descent of
– Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales
– Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England
– Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland
For those of us not taking part it seems such a daunting task, but realisitically it is 24hours of excitement, anticipation, pain, and elation out of 8,760 hours in a year; not much really…….but hugely satisfying and exhilarating for those that complete the walk.
My first thought about their adventure was the aching feet, legs and tiredness, but also how they are going to keep the team spirit buoyant in the middle of the night when they are on the side of Scafell Pike and it is blowing a gale. After seeing the weather map this morning and the terrible wind and rain we are currently experiencing, we hope that it subsides and blows over before the team take to the hills.
The weather on the mountains can change quickly and can go from one seasonal extreme to another within minutes. Having reviewed the Met Office weather chart for the weekend we know that the “be aware and prepared” warnings will be heeded with trepidation by the team who will keep their eye on the local weather forecasts, always being aware of what they are heading out in to.
With all three mountains to be climbed in the allotted 24 hours, the mountains are not to be underestimated at any time of the year, but when the weather is just a little inclement it takes a lot more determination, planning and consideration.
Some of the members of the Anglian Team
For our team the training started a few months ago, with many individual hours in the gym, swimming, walking and as a team experiencing the hillsides in Derbyshire, for some walking and group bonding. It is as much of a personal challenge as it is a group challenge for those taking part, finding out where people’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Helping each other through those dark moments when you really don’t think you can walk another step.
For me the basics to the Challenge were:
Training: Ensuring that a suitable amount of training has been carried out to build up personal stamina and physical fitness.
The Route: The route is planned with a map and a compass being taken to guide while walking; making sure you know how to read them both. The biggest reason for people not completing the walk is that they get lost! Let people know your route, end destination and expected time of completion.
Preparation of Kit to take: In the rucksack would be carried the extra clothing to keep warm during bad weather and extra items to complete the walk in safety.
– Walking boots
– Spare clothes, socks, fleece, gloves, hat
– Waterproof and windproof coat and trousers
– Water bottle, energy snacks, head torch
– First aid kit
– Mobile phone
– Sun and chap cream for the face
– Sunglasses on a strap around your neck
Being in the know, our team have trained together, laughed together and perhaps before the end of the walk will have cried together in their relief of completing the event. For them, failure is not an option!
Paul Kemmett on a practice climb in Scotland, just look at that view!
What ever the weather throws at them, it is in aid of a great cause, raising money for the charity Brain Tumour UK. If you would like to give your support to the team and help raise the total click this link to their JustGiving site.
However hard it seemed at the time, you will always remember what a fantastic experience and adventure you had. Recall how proud you felt from helping someone that could not do what you will have achieved!
Good Luck and Enjoy!