UK Team in Three Peaks ChallengePublished: 08 September 2015
On Friday 14th August a team from Cellular Asset Management UK Limited set off on the Three Peaks Challenge – to climb the highest mountain in Scotland, England and Wales in a 24 hour time period, including the driving between them. The Challenge was being completed to raise money for CAM’s chosen charity for 2015, Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan provides nursing for cancer sufferers, often in their own homes, together with advice and support for cancer sufferers and their relatives.
The team comprised Mike Hall, Richard Brindley, Michael Markham, Dominic Anderson, Paul Broome, Bruce Evans and John Conway.
The money for Macmillan is flowing in fast, already having reached £3500, and if you would like to donate, you can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/3peakpioneers/. Mike Hall describes the Challenge in more detail below.
“We set off on Friday morning from the Chertsey office at about 11.15am in a minibus being driven by the incomparable Andy Love, CAM’s Principal Engineer. Without Andy we could not have done this challenge and we are all massively indebted to him. In total he drove us 1,400 miles from Chertsey to Glasgow, onto Fort William, then back down to Wasdale Head in Cumbria, on to Pen-y-Pass in Snowdownia and back again to Chertsey. He also made us hot cups of tea and coffee and pot noodles for when we came back down from the mountains. He was an absolute star and the pivotal member of the team.
The journey up Glasgow on Friday was long. We seemed to hit traffic jams wherever we turned and the team enjoyed some interesting diversions from the motorways in an attempt to avoid the worst of the traffic. One diversion included a 6’6″ wide bridge which was a challenge in a 6’3″ wide minibus but Andy got us through! On our second diversion we spotted a lorry carrying concrete pipes as we left the motorway. Having re-joined the motorway several junctions later we had the dubious pleasure of passing the same lorry that had stayed on the M6! We eventually arrived in Glasgow after about 10 hours on the road and stopped the night at the Holiday Inn at Glasgow Airport. Bruce, who had worked at Harrods on the Thursday night, flew directly up to Glasgow and joined us at the hotel (albeit rather late as his flight was delayed).
We set off from Glasgow at 6am on Saturday morning and drove the 2.5 hour journey up to Fort William passing through the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands including the shores of Loch Lomond and the high pass of Ranoch Moor and the Glencoe ski area. At Fort William we enjoyed Scottish breakfasts and porridge and headed for the base of Ben Nevis just outside the town. Feeling fresh and ready for the challenge, we set off at 10.00am and we started by setting a somewhat unrealistic pace which soon came a cropper as we hit an increasingly steep path! The way up Ben Nevis was long and steep and we had patches of sunshine, patches of rain and the top in the clouds to contend with. We reached the summit of Britain’s highest mountain at 1,344m after three hours walking, stopped for a quick photo and then headed back down, reaching the minibus a further two hours later. After a quick cup of tea and some pot noodles we were on our way heading South back past Glasgow and down to the Lake District. The ascent up Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain at 978m, starts at Wasdale Head which is deep in the Lake District. A long and windy drive later we arrived at the Lakehead car park at 9.00pm. We started the walk at 9.15pm, just as darkness was falling and armed with head torches started to wind our way up the mountain. Unfortunately the top of the mountain was shrouded in cloud, which reflected the head torches and reduced visibility to a few metres. This made path finding somewhat tricky. Thankfully we didn’t walk over any exposed cliff edges and arrived, somewhat surprisingly out of the mist, at the summit only two hours after we had set off. The obligatory summit photo was taken, albeit difficult in the mist and dark, and we turned around and headed back down the way we had come up. The descent of Scafell was really testing and it was difficult to find the way in the mist and cloud, although at one point it did clear to reveal a stunning starry sky. It was a really rocky path and caused some real jolts on the knee joints and we were ecstatic to reach the mini-bus again just after 1am. Given the time of night we forwent the cup of tea, jumped into the minibus and allowed Andy to drive us all to Wales whilst we slept.
We arrived at Pen-y-Pass at just after 5.30am and after getting ready started the walk up Snowdon via the Pyg Track at about 5.50am. We had just over four hours to reach the top and were determined to do it, despite weary legs. It was the only mountain we climbed which was clear of cloud and we were treated to the sun rising as we made our way up. We arrived at the summit around 8am after some excellent teamwork shown by Dom and John to encourage and convince Bruce to reach the summit. Another quick summit photo and a bag of Mini Cheddars and we turned back and started our final descent. Michael was first down with a total time for the challenge of 23 hours and 20 minutes. He was closely followed by Dom at 23 hours 26 minutes then Paul, John and I came down at 23 hours 32 minutes. Bruce and Richard finished at 23 hours 40 minutes and the whole team was home in under the 24 hours. It was a massive achievement and we celebrated with fresh tea and pot noodles prepared by Andy! It was a lot harder than any of us anticipated but it was hugely rewarding and I think that we are all really glad that we did it. As a result of the challenge we have raised over £3,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support and we would like to thank everyone who has generously donated.”