Monday, 22 September 2008

Mountain 3: Snowdon, Wales, 1067m

After two mountains, in two different countries, in one day, we’d already climbed 2231 metres. Mentally this was probably the most difficult mountain, as our bodies were crying out for more rest, while our minds were saying “only one more to go!”. We already knew we wouldn’t be manage to get up AND back down Snowdon within the 24 period, but Paul, our guide gave the goal to getting to the summit within that time. This gave us the renewed motivation we needed to get our legs moving. On leaving the mini bus we had 2hours and 17 minutes to get up there…
Craig however was spent by this point – his body having been pushed to it’s limit by both the mountain climbing, and the cruel stomach bug. At this point he knew he’d hold us all back from our new goal, so he reluctantly opted not to climb Snowdon. It was still a mighty achievement on his part, to climb the two highest peaks in the UK, within the same day! Well Done Craig!
It was a beautiful morning as we started our ascent, with the sun slowing rising behind us as we trudged determinedly up the slope. We were following the Pyg track up, and although on Snowdon we were covering the least elevation, only 600m of it’s 1067, it was a steep and rugged 600m. Still a rather lovely walk, at a time of the day when normally we’d still be in bed.
As fate would have it, there was only one cloud in the sky that morning. And that cloud happened to want to sit right over the summit of Snowdon, so after a final push to get the top within the 24hours, we were again greeted by a white out! It didn’t matter though. WE’D DONE IT!! All were very happy to be there, and champagne and fosters and hot Ribena (Carrie’s contributions!) appeared out of rucksacks.
Having made that third summit, the urgency seemed to ease off and we all chatted happily as we slowly descended Snowdon, down to the Miner’s track, stopping for lots of pictures along the way – it really was picturesque!
The walk back, although mostly flat, seemed very long, probably because in our minds we’d finished the challenge at the summit! The fact that we all had trains booked home from Liverpool in just a few hours was also playing on Carrie’s mind….
The theme for this mountain was Mind over matter…

Mountain 2: Scafell Pike, England, 977m

Having left Scotland a little behind schedule the race was really on when we reached Seathwaite, in the Lake District, our starting point for climbing Scafell Pike. It was just after 6.30pm, which meant we had about 2 hours of day light left and we hoped to get a fair way to the summit by then.

This was Carrie’s favourite mountain as the route we walked took us over a variety of terrains – valleys, meadows, rivers, rocks, ledges, scree, steps…. Claire described it as “less nasty than Ben Nevis, but dark” and Craig purely feared for his life for a majority of this peak – being drained from his stomach bug, and his first night mountain experience couldn’t have helped though!

We did a lot of rock scrambling, path finding and scree sliding before finally reaching the summit of Scafell Pike in darkness about 9pm. On the summit we were greeted with a fantastic full moon, and clear sky allowing us views over the whole area. Shame our cameras weren’t quite up to capturing the moment.

2nd peak under our belts but before we could attempt the 3rd we had the mission of getting down of Scafell Pike, safely, in the dark – unfortunately the route we were walking, up from Seathwaite and along the corridor route, was on the opposite side of the mountain to the full moon!!
The night time navigation skills of our guide were tested at this point, as we strained our eyes to find the path back down, that not long earlier had seemed quite obvious coming up!
On the whole Scafell Pike was a long tiring walk tiring walk for all, though on a whole spirits were still high. The mini bus waiting for us at the end was a welcome sight though, as by now it was the early hours of the morning and sleep was beckoning…
The theme of this mountain was: Thighs and Eyes…

Mountian 1 - Ben Nevis, Scotland, 1344m

We took the tourist route up Ben Nevis, which let us know from the start exactly what was in store - a long slog that just went on and on and on!

It was easy enough to walk, with the lower half a nice wide track with convenient placed steps along a lot of it.

Once passing Lochan Meall an t-Siudhe at about the half way point, it then got quite rocky and uneven with a seemingly unending series of zig zags to endure before the summit was finally in sight. Or at least should have been - for the last 45mins we walked in white out conditions so had no idea of how much further we really had to go!

On reaching the summit, we had a quick stop for photos (to prove we had made it!) and to layer up (hats, gloves, waterproof over trousers…) and fuel up (Jaffa cakes, Kendal mint cake, flapjacks…) before turning quickly on our heels and heading back down the mountain again.
We’d had the path mostly to ourselves on the way up, but back down we passed dozens and dozens of other walkers – a lot of whom we later saw on Scafell Pike and then Snowdon! (see we are not the only crazy ones out there!).

We were back down, in the mini bus and on our way a little over 5.5 hours since starting. It was a bit slower than we had hoped, but poor Craig had been struck with an untimely stomach bug, which meant he had to make a number of stops en route on Ben Nevis. Enough said.
The theme of this mountain was Lungs and Bums...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

3 days on...

Achey limbs are starting to feel normal agian but the tiredness is stick kicking in!

"I can't believe that it is all over though" says Carrie "The whole challenge
went so quick..."
Although I am not so sure all three team mates agree!

Claire has described it as Nasty (Ben Nevis), Not so Nasty but Dark (Scafell Pike) and Nasty (Snowdon).
Craig was struck down from the beginning with a stomach bug, and probably found it the longest and scariest weekend of his life!
So I guess that makes Carrie officially the craziest of the 3Cs, as she loved it all and her favourite mountain was Scafell Pike, in the dark!!!

We are working on a full report, but in the mean time why not check out our photos here:

Sunday, 14 September 2008

24hrs later...

Update from the summit of Snowdon. Claire and Carrie have made it! The summit of the three highest peaks in the Uk in 24hrs. After a very galiant effort from Craig, summiting the 2 highest peaks in the Uk in 15hrs, his legs gave in on him and he reluctantly resigned from the challenge to give the rest of the team a fighting chance to achieve the summit within the 24hr mark. We've not quite done yet as we have to get down, but we're all really elated to have made it, there was even a swig of champagne each at the top! Again, no summit photo yet due to low cloud, but here's one of Snowdon from below once the cloud had lifted. All weekend we were blessed with wonderful walking weather, and the only drop of rain was in North England while we were in the minibus. Full challenge report and more pictures, including those from the summit of all 3, will be posted once we're home and had some sleep! 26 miles, 2500metre ascents, 3 countries, 3 peaks, and only 3hours sleep will need some recovering from! Carrie


Just finished second mountain, Scarfell Pike. A lot slower than schedule, but once darkness fell the going was a lot slower, and some of the group were really struggling. No pics this time. Too dark! Trying to get some sleep now before last mountain, Snowdon. We won't do it up and down in the 24 hours now, but are hoping to get to the summit within it

(Carrie - via text)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

5hours 40mins in 1

Update from crammed minibus leaving Fort William... 1st mountain done and under our belt! Bit longer than we'd hoped. We're in a team with 6 guys, who are a little faster than us, but only by about 10mins. Craig's faced his worse fear, the call of nature in the nature, but all in all we are fearing well other than a few stiff knees from the descent. The summit was a white out, so no picture from there yet i'm afraid, but here's one from the halfway point... Enjoy the view! We're gonna try and get some kip on the 5hr drive to the Lake District now. Due to start climbing Scafell Pike about 630pm. Carrie

Friday, 12 September 2008

7hrs to go...

Update from a bunkhouse just south of Fort William. We've all got up here safely, after driving through some fantastic scenery in Loch Lomond National Park. All packs sorted for the first mountain, Ben Nevis, which we'll be starting at 7am! Right of to bed now, so i can get at least 5hrs sleep before our a post breakfast briefing at 620am!

(Carrie via text)

1 Day to go...Final word's from the 3Cs...

I'm posting this just before catching a plane up to Glasgow to join Craig and Claire, and the rest of the Meningitis Trust team for the 3 Peaks Challenge.

This weekend we’ll be walking 26 miles, up three mountains, in 3 different countries. That’s the equivalent distance to a marathon, but with 2,500m added in just for fun! And no, we don’t get to stop and sleep along the way, any sleeping to be had will be crammed in a mini bus seat as we drive from Scotland to England, then on down to Wales.

After conquering Ben Nevis on Saturday morning, Scafell Pike in the dark, we are hoping to hit the summit of Snowdon just as the sun is rising on Sunday morning…

Over the past 3+ months we’ve spent weekends training, and between us raised almost £2,500 for the Meningitis Trust.

Many thanks to all those that have believed in us and supported and sponsored us along the way.

This weekend we’ll do you proud!

We'll try and get some updates up here to let you know how we are getting on, so keep watching!

Monday, 8 September 2008

5 Days to go.... agggghhhhhhhhhh!!!

With now less than a week to go it's getting scarily close.

I spent all weekend relaxing, and not doing anything too energetic what so ever in preparation for next weekend.

The bad news is though, yesterday I was going a bit stir crazy from lack or exercise, last night my legs were aching, and today I seem to be developing a cold! Itchy throat and sneezing all afternoon! Oh well I guess all I can do now is fuel up my body, dose up on vitamin C and hope for the best!

Right, off to eat my homemade soup....