A team of nine intrepid adventurers, including four members from Capital Support, a Six Degrees Group company, successfully completed the National Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 6th August in aid of WeSeeHope. Below are some key numbers behind their story: –

  •           Three mountains;
  •           24 hours;
  •           Zero sleep;
  •           Five damaged knees;
  •           30-40mph winds;
  •           Sub-zero temperatures;
  •           26.5 miles of climbing;
  •           3,071 feet of ascent;
  •           Over £8,000 raised so far;
  •           Nine elated participants!

What follows is an account of their journey from Team Leader, Carrie Whamond, Executive Sales Director at Capital Support.

Mountain One: Ben Nevis

  •           5 miles of climbing
  •           1,352 feet of ascent

We started the National Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday morning, nine of us squeezed into a 12 seat mini-bus, with all of the kit, backpacks, and food we would need for 24 hours. Vacuum packed sardines have more room – it quickly became apparent that sleep in between mountains was going to be a scarce commodity.

We arrived at Ben Nevis and began our ascent at 2:15pm. After an hour of climbing up a steep rocky incline, most of us were asking ourselves “why on earth did I agree to this?”

The higher up the mountain, the more difficult the terrain became – eventually reaching minus temperatures and 30-40mph winds in the upper third of the mountain.

Reaching the summit was met with a cheer of celebration. After taking five minutes for a quick picture, we turned straight around and headed back down. The descent was quite tough on the knees, which was made more difficult due to the wet conditions making the ground slippery underfoot.

We finished up with two bad knee injuries. However, all nine completed the challenge and bundled their wet, tired, but elated bodies back into the bus for the journey to the Lake District.

Mountain Two: Scafell Pike

  •           9 miles of climbing
  •           996 feet of pure ascent

At the foot of Scafell Pike, we were faced with a difficult decision. As a result of losing time on Ben Nevis for injuries, our guide informed us that we would have to complete a five hour climb (on a normal night) in under four hours, or we wouldn’t be able to complete the 24 hour challenge.

Gallantly, and at a large personal and psychological sacrifice, four of the team made the decision to stay behind, so that the five remaining uninjured team members could be in with a chance of keeping the time challenge alive. To have travelled 700 miles, climbed Ben Nevis, mentally prepared for all three mountains, and not be able to proceed, was devastating. It was, however, an incredibly generous act.

At 2:15am, in the pitch black and wearing head torches, five of the team set off on the mountain at a punishing pace in order to meet the time. The group had to stay close together. We couldn’t see any further than a few feet in front, and the terrain was incredibly rocky.

The mountain was covered in boulder and rubble fields, which often required the physical dexterity of a mountain goat: not something that comes naturally to those over 35! Occasionally, groups of headlamps would appear miles above in the sky, like an airplane landing, and the enormity of the remaining climb would sink in.

Conditions were still wet. It rained, and the winds were even worse than Nevis – knocking us over on the side of the mountain.  However, by 5:43am we were all running down the side of Scafell Pike to the cheers and support of our waiting team, having completed the climb in 3 hours 27 minutes.  A record time, according to our guide!

Mountain Three: Snowden

  •           7 miles of climbing
  •           732 feet of pure ascent

We were destined to be plagued with knee injuries, losing another member of the team (with both knees!) to the gruelling descent on Scafell. This left us with four members, who had 3.5 hours (instead of the normal 4.5 hours) to complete Snowden within the challenge rules.

All nine of the team headed onto the mountain to give it their best shot, with the agreement that four would take on Snowden without the guide, and at their own risk, in order to make time. The remaining injured group would, with the guide’s help, attempt to complete as much of the mountain as their damaged knees would allow.

Exhausted, bruised, and psychologically prepared for the well-known walking path, we set off.  It was only 30 minutes later that we realised that we were to take the most difficult route up Snowden – not the leisurely stroll we were led to believe we had left. Rock climbing, boulder jumping, and some of the steepest ascents of the day made for a difficult journey.

After another super quick photo at the summit, we set off back down the mountain.  Half way down, with 30 minutes to spare, everyone broke into a jog – finally running (or hobbling due to yet another knee collapsing) over the finish line with minutes to spare.

Elated, full of emotion, pride for one another, and joy at having completed the challenge, we all set off to Chester. And the pub.

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Completing the National Three Peaks Challenge

Team Capital Support successfully completed the National Three Peaks Challenge in under 24 hours: a massive achievement. They have raised over £8,000 so far for WeSeeHope, but just because they’re back at their desks and returning to normal life doesn’t mean they can’t raise even more.

Visit the team’s JustGiving page to donate what you can, and remember that your money will be helping to improve the lives of orphans and other vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in Southern and Eastern Africa.