Three Peaks – made the summit of Ben Nevis!

Part 3 Our planned start time of 4pm was delayed due to traffic delays. A large truck was blocking the road and we didn’t move for nearly an hour! By this stage the team just wanted to get going as the adrenaline and testosterone competed. Finally we moved and with only an hour to go we started getting dressed and doing a kit check. Spirits were high as we drove through the most amazing Highland scenery. Then it appeared and it was time!   We jumped out of the minibus had the obligatory photographs and started climbing at 6pm. We opted for the hard start to test ourselves. What a foolish mistake. Within an hour we were under pressure. The climb is rocky, steep and undulating and you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time looking at your feet so as not to stumble. Ben Nevis is also seriously deceiving because you never seem to be able to see the summit.  There was a common theme with our fellow mountaineers, as everytime we met people on the descent and got a progress check for the summit we were told that it was “only an hour to go” and it was “naughty” at the top. The first time it was OK, but when we asked an hour later and got the same response it was demotivating for everyone. We eventually encountered heavy snow and knew we must be close! What a buzz as we finally made it to the top. We were exhilarated and quite emotional at the scale of the achievement. We made our calls home to family and turned for home as due to the heavy snow and fog we couldn’t see any distance. The long and precarious descent followed, the last hour in the dark! By the time we met Oli at the bottom we were exhausted with legs like jelly. We scoffed various sandwiches, fruit, biscuits and chocolate and enjoyed some hot drinks before crashing out in the minibus as Oli started the long drive south. As I write this we are near Carlisle just after sunrise heading for the Lake District and our next challenge.

Unforeseen Development?

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Three Peaks update

Having arrived in Glasgow late due to sheep on the line (seriously) we are now battling to stay on schedule. At least we managed to load up on carbs on the train. Lots of knowing looks from people at Glasgow station who seeing us wearing Cancer Research shirts and lugging kit bags realise that the we are up for a challenge. If only they knew!    Having collected the minibus the first signs of nervousness surfaced as we realised that Oli didn’t know how to use the sat nav! This was apparent as we headed back towards Glasgow! Paul then realised that his water reservoir was leaking in his bag as he hadn’t closed it properly. Now the teamwork comes into play as we all have to lend him kit as his is now soaked! Mike feels like he has been with Camwood for years and yet his first official day is next Tuesday. What a baptism of fire!  

The Three Peaks adventure begins!

On Wednesday night, in homes across the South East the intrepid team from Camwood all started to lay out kit and start packing for the 3 peaks challenge! As the evening grew later the enormity of the task started dawning. As we all watched the weather forecast in our respective homes we realised that it was going to be so cold that it  would be snowing and windy on Ben Nevis our first mountain. Great! So not only could we not read maps, but now we couldn’t see the paths. We all met at Euston on Thursday morning and agreed that none of us had slept well. Still we prepared ourselves with healthy bacon and sausage rolls and large coffees before boarding the train bound for Glasgow. Our 3 Peaks flag arrived at Euston thanks to one of our colleagues who had to collect it in person after being let down on the delivery. Having been on the train for all of 5 minutes I managed to catch my shorts on the arm rest and badly tear them! Great start! We all look the part in our matching  blue Cancer Research t-shirts and are all in good form knowing that we have now raised in excess of £4500 for Cancer Research! What a great motivator for the challenge ahead. A strange ritual is occurring in front of me as my team members are cutting up the maps with scissors. We also now have Glen on video saying, “we don’t need the maps for Ben Nevis and Snowdon”……. Who needs inspiration? We have just received a £20 donation from Sally Thomson on the train! She commented “loved the map reading, your approach seems so rational…… NOT. This is the best entertainment ever!”. I should point out at this point that Sally is a nurse who my well be needed at some stage! Thank you Sally. More updates will follow as events unfold! 

Pauls last training diary before the big day!

After a couple of mid week walks around the Caversham Heights area I joined Oli and family on Sun 16th to scale Tot Hill which is near Newbury the intention was to get used to a some gradient walking … crikey this is not a stroll in the park .. lucky I have my walking poles but must remember to take oxygen and a new set of lungs for the real thing. Monday … why do people do this ? Tuesday … everyone is entitled to a rest day surely Wednesday … come on let’s get out there … decided to walk up the hilliest parts of Caversham Heights… been past this house 4 times I think they are starting to get suspicious …. think I should knock on the door and explain … no stop the heavy breathing might not help! Thursday – Gym review session … Instructor hasn’t turned up some people no dedication! Just a hour this time followed by a quick swim and a Jacuzzi .. let’s hope they have the same facilities on Ben Nevis. Sunday last big walk before  kick-off – This time it’s the South Downs not sure why they call it the downs coz its steep as you like …. shish kebab it must be 30 degrees up here ideal training for those snowy peaks! 2 hours of hell and thats only 1/3 of what we will do for Ben Nevis alone hopefully the guys will bring a stretcher coz I think I will need a helping hand.