The Three Peaks!

OK so there had to be some mountains come back into my life before long didn’t there? Now I know that the Three Peaks are not exactly the biggest mountains on this whole planet, but it is a great challenge, pretty hard work, and it will be a whole lot of fun. So what is this all about then I hear you say?

Well, whilst I was on the mountain, one of the people who I work with (she can remain anonymous for now, although actually her name is Kerry:)) decided to suggest a Three Peaks Challenge for the members of our company. I think she also nominated me as ‘expedition leader’ since a.) I have a penchant for the odd hill or two, b.) She probably figuredthat if I was up for Kilimanjaro then the perils of the mountains of England, Scotland and Wales wouldn’t daunt me too much, and c.) I wasn’t there at the time so couldn’t object.

So after a week or so of regaling tales of my adventures to people who asked me about my recent exploits, (and regaling also to plenty who neither asked nor probably cared), the subject of the Three Peaks was raised. I so want to do this, and so I grasped the nettle and got on with organising it accordingly. For those of you who don’t know much about it, here are some facts and stuff, which is in fact it is an extract from the note that I sent around the office:

A.)   The Three Peaks Walk takes in the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. These are Ben Nevis (1,344 metres or 4,409 feet), Sca Fell (978 metres or 3,209 feet) and Snowdon (1,085 metres or 3,560 feet). We will do the mountains in that order.

B.)    It should be pointed out that this is literally a walk, and that there is no climbing involved. The paths are however tough, and involve a mild scramble in places.

C.)    The tradition is to complete the challenge within 24 hours. This is no mean feat, as the driving distance alone between the mountains is some 450 miles.  It is non-stop, and unless you manage to grab a few hours sleep between Ben Nevis and Sca Fell in the bus, you will be very tired by the end of it all. We will also have to drive 480 miles to Fort William on the way there alone.

D.)   Normally, Ben Nevis is a 6-8 hour trek. Sca Fell is normally 5 hours, and Snowdon also 5 hours. In order to do this within the time however, we will need to do Ben Nevis in 5 hours, Sca Fell in 4 hours, and Snowdon in 3.5 hours. It is therefore important for you to know that you will be ‘pushed’ (though not literally!!), and that it is against the clock. It is by no means a race, but we are as slow as our slowest person, and some of us (me very much included) want to beat the deadline, and time will be tight regardless. The driving distance to Sca Fell from Ben Nevis is seven hours, and from Sca Fell to Snowdon is four hours. If we do everything to plan without a hiccup of any kind we have 30 minutes to spare!

E.)    You are going to have to be fairly fit, and have some reasonable walking gear (including good boots) and waterproof clothing, amongst other things. There can be bad weather on the mountains at any time of year, and this coupled with not being ‘ready’ can end in trouble. We don’t want to be calling out Mountain Rescue for anyone, so please don’t attempt this if you are not fully committed and prepared!

F.)  If you manage to do this you need to know that you will complete approximately 10,000 feet, or 3,000m of ascent, during one day, and you will also cover in that same day approximately 26 miles, or 42km, of walking, the same distance as a marathon. It is really not therefore for the faint hearted or unfit.

So there we have it – another new adventure! It looks also like we are set for early July, which is really fast approaching – I am just trying to sort out the logistics of minibuses, driver, guide, food, accommodation etc etc. It will be fantastic. Although each hill is not huge by any means, to do 3,000m of ascent in one day and 26 miles walking is no mean feat. I shall have to get fit again – I have certainly let myself slide somewhat over the last few weeks, and waiting for myself dithering over bike choices most certainly doesn’t help!

More very soon –  I am back in blog mood now, so this will get more regular again. Thanks to Sky for his biking advice last week, and so if any more of you out there are Three Peaks fans then let me know – any and all comments/advice are much appreciated. In particular I would love to know whether we should start Ben Nevis at noon or 5pm, and why!……….

Oh and finally some new news here for those of you who like the spirit of all things adventurous – as you will no doubt know I met six other wonderful people on that mountain, and I have been swapping photos with both Heather and Caroline of late, which is fantastic. It keeps everything more than hugely alive. I also invited Heather and Caroline (and also Ronan, Kamal, Tayma and Tamara if you are reading this, then you are now hereby invited too) to come and do the Three Peaks with me, but both have other commitments and so it cannot happen this time, which is a shame. However…..Heather has invited me to come over to New York next month (or did I invite myself, who knows:)), but anyway I am thrilled and delighted to be going there. Apparently it will also involve going to see ‘The Yankees’ or something like that – and here was me thinking that New York was full of them anyway;)

Until maybe tomorrow, who knows….

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