On Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th June, we took on the National Three Peaks Challenge. Our goal was to not only complete the challenge, but to raise money for The Invictus Trust along the way, an adolescent mental health charity.
This is our story...
The National Three Peaks challenge is an endurance challenge in which the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales must be ascended and descended within a 24 hour time limit.
A team of 10 was assembled several months prior to taking on the challenge. We took part in training walks and night hikes over Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and the challenging Cornish North Coast to help us prepare for the challenge.
When it came to the weekend of the challenge, we met on the Friday morning at 5am in Falmouth and boarded the mini bus.
We spent the day travelling up to Scotland where we stopped overnight in Glasgow. After arriving at around 4pm, we enjoyed a leg stretch around the city and big evening meal to fuel up in preparation for the adventure.
On the Saturday morning, we had a buffet breakfast and stocked up on the bananas. Prior to leaving, we prepped our kit bags, filled water bottles, had snacks at the ready and got the walking boots out.
The first peak, Ben Nevis, is the tallest one standing at 1,345m in the Scottish highlands next to Fort William.
The journey from Glasgow to Fort William takes roughly 2 and half hours, so we boarded the mini bus late-morning and set off!
Arriving in Fort William at approx 2pm, the weather turned nasty with a colossal thunder and lightning storm. We were forced to wait for a few extra hours while we waited for the storm to pass.
Setting off at 4pm, we eventually began to climb Ben Nevis in very muggy conditions. It was hot and humid and breathing was difficult up the steep parts.
This started to test the mindset for a few of the team, and bags were shared to help get the team up. We peaked at approx 6:30pm after 2 and half hours of climbing. A quick photo and rest at the top before we began to descend.
2 hours later, we were all safely off the mountain and on the bus heading towards our second peak, Scafell Pike.
Scafell Pike is located in the Lake District of north west England, and the journey there was approx 5 and half hours through the night.
The final few miles on the approach to Scafell was quite a site to behold. We could see lots of lights snaking up the mountain in the dark as several groups were taking on the challenge.
We arrived at 2am and kitted up with head torches ready to take on Englands highest peak in the dark.
Whilst Scafell Pike is the least tall of the 3 peaks, standing at 978m, it was a steep climb that seemed to continue forever. We had a river crossing to negotiate and once again battled against hot and humid conditions that made breathing hard.
After 2 hours of climbing, we hit the peak just as the sun came up. Unfortunately the foggy conditions prevented us from enjoying the spectacular views, but we didn't have time to stop for long and started making our way back down.
The top third of Scafell is very rocky with lots of scree, so we had to stay focused to make sure we remained on the right path.
After an hour and half, we had successfully descended and enjoyed views of Wast Water down the valley after the fog began to clear.
Back on the bus for a quick turn around, we headed towards the third and final peak, Mount Snowdon.
Located in the Snowdonia region of Wales, Mount Snowdow stands at 1,085m tall and is one of the most popular mountains to climb.
With several routes up, we took the popular 'Pyg Track' and started at around 10am.
Being the third peak, fatigue and tiredness were setting in, but spirits were high so we got cracking!
There were several tricky parts with rock scrambles and steep ledges to climb up, but the views were fantastic.
The turnaround at the top was quick as it was very windy.
On the way down, the team split up into three groups. The track was simple to follow and those wanting to achieve a good time were given that chance.
At this point on the challenge, a few small niggles were setting in, so the walking poles were out to help safely negotiate the way down.
The first group arrived back to complete the challenge in 21 hours 30 minutes.
The second group arrived back to complete the challenge in 21 hour 55 minutes.
The third group arrived back to complete the challenge in 22 hours 58 minutes.
With everyone arriving well and truly in time, we were all relieved to finish and over the moon to have finished with such good times on the clock.
We headed towards Bristol on a 4 hour drive that saw most of us asleep!
At Bristol, we enjoyed hot baths before a celebratory meal out and well earned drink or two before heading back to the hotel to catch up on rest and sleep.
The next day, Monday morning, set off back to Cornwall on the final leg of the journey to complete a hugely successful adventure.
We raised over £2,500 for the Invictus Trust, surpassing our target by £1,000.
A massive thank you to our driver, Rob, who was fantastic and safely got us from peak to peak.
Well done to the team of Ali, Angie, Lauren, Emma, Nicola, Charlie, Jamie, Paul, Katie and Ben who took on this challenge for a great cause.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported us and donated during this tough challenge.
Until next year, bring on The Three Peaks 2020!
Ben and the team have been incredible over the 6 week Summer Bootcamp! I never thought I would be doing what I've done and feel so good about myself. Bring on the next one!
I've come to realise after starting Bootcamp that cutting calories and fad diets don't work at all! My body shape has completely changed! My attitude to exercise and food has changed, I make better choices but still allow treats at the weekends and I have a lot more energy!
I couldn't imagine my life without the regular doses of dynamic group training and epic levels of serotonin release!
Bootcamp has done more for me that I can put into words. With support and encouragement from both team mates and instructors, I have achieved more than I ever though possible. I started 12 months ago and have never looked back.
Bootcamp Falmouth allowed me to focus on seriously improving my fitness in a non judgemental, friendly and fun environment. The nutrition advice changed the way I eat forever and helped me kick a longstanding sweetner addiction! Highly recommend.