Three peaks challenge
Arriving the day before the challenge our team booked in to a cosy B&B and we went to look, at the mountains, which stopped us in our tracks!! Shocked by how high they were we were all a little worried and perhaps not as prepared as we had thought. On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat and a drink - to get a bit of dutch courage for what lay ahead, it was orange juices all round!! An early night was in order for the 4.30 am start.
Arriving at the cafe starting point before anyone else the next morning we decided to post our timing card through the letter box rather than wait for it to open, talk about keen! The seven of us were brimming with enthusiasm and confidence and exchanged a lively banter as we set off for the first peak. The going was easy until we met the first incline of the first hill. We really had our work cut out for us on this one, we would soon break in our new walking boots. It was so steep we had to use all of our concentration to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We quickly realised this was not going to be a walk in the park! As we looked behind us we could see in the distance that the other teams were just starting off. We eventually stopped for a short rest at the top for a well earned cuppa and admired the stunning views.
Our rest over we approached the descent which was just as difficult and eventually we arrived at the bottom. We set off on the second challenge not knowing how long it was going to take to get to the next one, we thought it would be just up and down and up and down!! How wrong we were!
We tracked miles through bogs with our feet sinking, jumping over boulders it was more like an assault course we were all covered in mud. One highlight was a waterfall we passed coming over a sheer drop which seemed to grow bigger the nearer we got to it, the sheer size was amazing.
At last we reached the second hill. Oh no! this was taller than the first, we all rallied around each other with support and encouragement as we were starting to tire - it hit home at this stage what an endurance test this was turning out to be and it was only 11am!! The path narrowed at the peak and with a sheer drop to the side you had to watch your footing. The path widened out to a seating area at the top where we sat and ate in very windy conditions surrounded by sheep (how did they find it so easy to get up here?) The descent was so steep we thought it would be easier to just run down but the steepness made our shins ache, each step felt like you were falling 8 feet at a time, very nerve wracking. As the path straightened out we caught a glimpse of the last challenge - WOW, seeing it in the distance with clouds covering the flat top it felt as if it was looking down at us daring to be climbed, we were all in awe.
On reaching the base of our final challenge the mountain looked practically vertical, not so much of a ramble but a fully fledged climb (none of us had packed crampons and guide ropes) By this time the teams had thinned out radically with casualties succumbing to blisters, corns and sheer exhaustion.
The sun had given way to torrential rain, but we were all determined to complete this mammoth task. With our second wind we ventured onwards and upwards. This was very hard going. At the top the wind was a full force gale, I had never experienced anything like it before - so strong I felt that is was going to sweep me off the top, needless to say we didn't stay too long as the coldness chilled us to the bone. The descent was once again steep but the finish line was in our minds. It was more of a scrambling jump down to the bottom. We still had an eight mile trek back to the cafe finishing line.
Finally a welcome sight -The cafe. We went back to the hotel, changed then we all headed off to the pub for a meal and a few well deserved beers paid for by Countryside La vie.
Three Peaks Challenge Sponsored by
Countryside La Vie Magazine
Michael John Carpets
Broughton House Upholstery Ltd
Stevens Metals Co.Ltd
L.J.W Carpenter & Joiner