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Three Peaks Success for Power Towers: a long journey…

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power_tower_adm...
23/06/2015

Three Peaks Success for Power Towers: a long journey…

May 30th, 17.06 British Summertime was the official starting time for the 16 strong Power Towers 3 Peaks Challenge team. The starting point was the visitor car park at the foot of Ben Nevis and even though the forecast was rain the weather was good, the sun shining; almost a perfect evening.

The challenge had stated almost 36 hours earlier when the 16 departed Power Towers’ Wigston factories on a coach to Luton airport, then a flight to Inverness and finally a bus to Fort William.

After enjoying the delights of Fort William overnight and through the next day it was time to double check kit lists (warm layers, complete dry change, waterproofs) and food supplies (flapjack, cereal, energy bars, more snacks, red bull, carb. drinks, water and more water) & medical kit for the challenge ahead. All checked, we were starting to get excited, nervous, even apprehensive.  Finally would the two mini-buses turn up, our transport between mountains for the next 24 hours or so? At 4pm they did, we all loaded back packs and bulk supplies and we were off to the Ben Nevis visitor car park for the team photo, safety briefing and start; nervous and excited.

17.06, 6 minutes later than planned but fine, stopwatch on I-Phone running; 24 hours the target.

Schedule: 5 hours for Ben Nevis, 6 hours transition and minibus journey to Scafell Pike, 4 hours for Scafell, 4.5 hours minibus to Snowden, 4.5 hours for Snowdon, finish time 17.06 May 31st; a big day. Back to work the next day, Monday 1st June, another big day…

Ben Nevis started well and warm but with 300 vertical metres to the summit we hit the snowline and it was cold and the walk got steeper and harder through 2 metres of compacted snow.  Hard work for most, really hard work for some. But the view is great and it’s all worth it; a surreal snowscape, we felt on top of the world. This was the toughest of the 3 Peaks we told ourselves and we were nearly there. The snow seemed to go on forever and it was like walking in deep sand up a sand dune (or deep snow up a mountain) Keep right we were warned; keep away from the overhanging snow cornices and the fatal shear drop. Finally we were there, cold and tired, handshakes and hugs a couple of photos, flapjack, snacks, water and then straight back down. 15 minutes behind schedule!  We hurried down; the thick snow was easier on the way down, the thinner snow treacherous further down. It was finally getting dark but the views still fantastic in that magic light between day and night. One or two trips & falls on the descent, people getting tired, it’s approaching 22.06, 5 hours gone and still not quite back to the car park where the minibuses await. Finally 22.20 and all down, slow transition, inexperience telling, 10.40 before we’re on the road to Scafell! Now we’re up against it.

The journey was winding and long and boring.  Difficult to sleep, impossible to sleep for very long; a few minutes for some, a ½ hour for others. We make a toilet/fuel stop at Ecclefechan. Too long we think! We arrive at Wasdale Head car park at 04.40am, it’s light and the forecast is wind & rain; the forecast is right. We drag waterproofs on to tired bodies and stiff limbs, enthusiasm is dampened.

Within ½ mile we’re all wondering why we were at the base of Scafell Pike in driving rain with 4 hours of hell ahead of us.  But this was a challenge and it was for charity (Alzheimer’s Society.) 

We head forward, heads down to slow rain getting past our hoods and hats.  But it’s really hard work for everyone; we follow several rock paths that today are streams, our boots are already waterlogged.  We cross a couple of raging streams/rivers and now our waterproofs are waterlogged. We head into the low cloud and start to pick our way through the many boulder fields as we head to the summit, we’re spread out now and you can’t see more than 50 metres ahead.  ‘What are we doing here?’ most of us are thinking. Some found it a strange kind of fun; ‘it’s not really difficult, just uncomfortable.’  We reach the peak and it’s an even quicker turn around.  We pick our way back down, the small wet rocks are treacherous, we all need to concentrate, but we’re all tired and it’s not fair.  And we’re further behind time. And people are deflated. Can’t make it now in 24, most people think. Today Scafell is harder than Ben Nevis, that’s for sure. But we are down and no injuries; one to go, quick transition.  We’re on the road to Snowdon by 10.30. Still possible, a few of us think.  Still no sleep we change into dry clothes or drier clothes, boots still wet.  More sweet food, more water, we arrive at Llanberis at 14.10 and the weather is good, cloudy but sunny. Out of the buses and ready, every man and woman for themselves on Snowdon; we had 2h 50mins to be up and down. Two would break 24 hours, a few would come very close and all would finish under 25h 45mins. 

And so it was finished; Power Tower’s 3 peaks challenge 2015 was over with no serious injuries: some had pushed themselves further than they ever had before, or ever wanted to, all would have tried their best and achieved more than they had before; and in that we shared.  Right then we didn’t want to see another mountain or another challenge!  But now, 24 hours later we think… maybe next year!

What an achievement - Well done to everyone!

May 30th, 17.06 British Summertime was the official starting time for the 16 strong Power Towers 3 Peaks Challenge team. The starting point was the visitor car park at the foot of Ben Nevis and even though the forecast was rain the weather was good, the sun shining; almost a perfect evening.

The challenge had stated almost 36 hours earlier when the 16 departed Power Towers’ Wigston factories on a coach to Luton airport, then a flight to Inverness and finally a bus to Fort William.

After enjoying the delights of Fort William overnight and through the next day it was time to double check kit lists (warm layers, complete dry change, waterproofs) and food supplies (flapjack, cereal, energy bars, more snacks, red bull, carb. drinks, water and more water) & medical kit for the challenge ahead. All checked, we were starting to get excited, nervous, even apprehensive.  Finally would the two mini-buses turn up, our transport between mountains for the next 24 hours or so? At 4pm they did, we all loaded back packs and bulk supplies and we were off to the Ben Nevis visitor car park for the team photo, safety briefing and start; nervous and excited.

17.06, 6 minutes later than planned but fine, stopwatch on I-Phone running; 24 hours the target.

Schedule: 5 hours for Ben Nevis, 6 hours transition and minibus journey to Scafell Pike, 4 hours for Scafell, 4.5 hours minibus to Snowden, 4.5 hours for Snowdon, finish time 17.06 May 31st; a big day. Back to work the next day, Monday 1st June, another big day…

Ben Nevis started well and warm but with 300 vertical metres to the summit we hit the snowline and it was cold and the walk got steeper and harder through 2 metres of compacted snow.  Hard work for most, really hard work for some. But the view is great and it’s all worth it; a surreal snowscape, we felt on top of the world. This was the toughest of the 3 Peaks we told ourselves and we were nearly there. The snow seemed to go on forever and it was like walking in deep sand up a sand dune (or deep snow up a mountain) Keep right we were warned; keep away from the overhanging snow cornices and the fatal shear drop. Finally we were there, cold and tired, handshakes and hugs a couple of photos, flapjack, snacks, water and then straight back down. 15 minutes behind schedule!  We hurried down; the thick snow was easier on the way down, the thinner snow treacherous further down. It was finally getting dark but the views still fantastic in that magic light between day and night. One or two trips & falls on the descent, people getting tired, it’s approaching 22.06, 5 hours gone and still not quite back to the car park where the minibuses await. Finally 22.20 and all down, slow transition, inexperience telling, 10.40 before we’re on the road to Scafell! Now we’re up against it.

The journey was winding and long and boring.  Difficult to sleep, impossible to sleep for very long; a few minutes for some, a ½ hour for others. We make a toilet/fuel stop at Ecclefechan. Too long we think! We arrive at Wasdale Head car park at 04.40am, it’s light and the forecast is wind & rain; the forecast is right. We drag waterproofs on to tired bodies and stiff limbs, enthusiasm is dampened.

Within ½ mile we’re all wondering why we were at the base of Scafell Pike in driving rain with 4 hours of hell ahead of us.  But this was a challenge and it was for charity (Alzheimer’s Society.) 

We head forward, heads down to slow rain getting past our hoods and hats.  But it’s really hard work for everyone; we follow several rock paths that today are streams, our boots are already waterlogged.  We cross a couple of raging streams/rivers and now our waterproofs are waterlogged. We head into the low cloud and start to pick our way through the many boulder fields as we head to the summit, we’re spread out now and you can’t see more than 50 metres ahead.  ‘What are we doing here?’ most of us are thinking. Some found it a strange kind of fun; ‘it’s not really difficult, just uncomfortable.’  We reach the peak and it’s an even quicker turn around.  We pick our way back down, the small wet rocks are treacherous, we all need to concentrate, but we’re all tired and it’s not fair.  And we’re further behind time. And people are deflated. Can’t make it now in 24, most people think. Today Scafell is harder than Ben Nevis, that’s for sure. But we are down and no injuries; one to go, quick transition.  We’re on the road to Snowdon by 10.30. Still possible, a few of us think.  Still no sleep we change into dry clothes or drier clothes, boots still wet.  More sweet food, more water, we arrive at Llanberis at 14.10 and the weather is good, cloudy but sunny. Out of the buses and ready, every man and woman for themselves on Snowdon; we had 2h 50mins to be up and down. Two would break 24 hours, a few would come very close and all would finish under 25h 45mins. 

And so it was finished; Power Tower’s 3 peaks challenge 2015 was over with no serious injuries: some had pushed themselves further than they ever had before, or ever wanted to, all would have tried their best and achieved more than they had before; and in that we shared.  Right then we didn’t want to see another mountain or another challenge!  But now, 24 hours later we think… maybe next year!

What an achievement - Well done to everyone!

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