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SIMON HART & FRIENDS’ 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE:

For the record start time 5.00pm base of Ben Nevis. End times 3.40/3.45/3.55pm base of Snowdon. All completed within 23 hours.

Thursday 9 July 6.15am – it all started.
The minibus was loaded with 25 gallons of water, enough food for 3 weeks, 3 pairs of boots each and 5 complete changes of clothes for everyone. We made steady progress up the M6, only stopping once for coffee and Farleys Rusks.

We arrived at Fort William before 3.00pm. With only 2 hours before the start we all started focusing ourselves – some having all day breakfasts, John was shopping for extra-thick thermal gloves to prevent frostbite and I picked up some Rennies just in case of indigestion. With our rucksacks packed we were off, stopping only for the official photo at the start as we crossed the footbridge.

Weather conditions were fine – late evening sunshine with only a light breeze and a temperature of 0 degrees expected on the top. We all marched upwards and onwards. Andy and John were using sticks/poles to assist their ascent, myself choosing brute force and an old pair of carpet slippers.   We were at the top in less than 3 hours. Photos done, the descent was soon under way.

 

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We left the M6 at Carlisle taking the long way round to Scafell. At 2.00am we started to put our boots on. The not so nice lady on the Satnav had decided to take us along the side of Buttermere and was now telling us to turn up a Bridleway over the top of an unknown mountain range. Simon and Andy went with the Satnav, John and Craig picked up the map and a compass, Dave pretended to be asleep, and I just wanted to be at Scafell. We finally put the minibus down to land at Wasdale Head at 3.55am. Within a minute of the bus stopping, I was ready with shouts of “Come on” and “Let’s go” which could be heard in the darkness.  With a light on the back of my rucksack I was off, setting a fast to good. In only an hour the top was in sight. Daylight was now coming up and calm was returning.  Our now sweaty bodies reached the top for photos with a sense of achievement/relief, knowing that there was only one hill left.

We were back at the minibus at 7.30.  Luck was on our side with very little traffic and we were soon back on the M6 heading for Snowdon. The start time for Snowdon was 12 noon as promised. There was only standing room on top with lots of people having their photographs taken. We left the summit just after 2.00pm. Andy and I came in at 3.40pm, John and Simon at 3.45 with Dave and Craig coming in at 3.55 – all of us completing the walk well within 23 hours.

With the champagne drunk and the photographs taken it was off to the nearest pub for a well deserved drink!

Finally – and most importantly – a very big Thank You to everyone who took part or was involved in any way and to all the people who donated to Cancer Research.

 

 

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