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We’re always proud of our team here at It’s a Wrap but there are occasions where that pride is taken to another level. The members of staff who recently took part in, and completed, the Three Peaks Challenge have blown us away with their determination and motivation!
We thought we’d share a summary of their adventures….
The whole idea started as a personal challenge between two members of the team and quickly spread as word got round and others wanted to join in. Before we knew it, a minibus was organised, an arduous training plan created, fundraising put in place and a date set for June 18th - the It’s a Wrap, Three Peaks 24hr Challenge was born!
The team ensured they took on plenty of practice walks in the run up to the event including a very wet and cold climb up Snowdon back in April. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of climbing Snowdon in the rain and mist, it isn’t fun. Even waterproofs don’t stop the rain from running in to your boots and then there’s the disappointment that once you reach the summit, you can’t see a thing and could frankly be standing in the car park, or at least that’s where you wish you were! The Snowdon experience really hit home how tricky the challenge was going to be and exactly what the team were taking on. Not to be deterred, the training was increased, and determination upped to maximum level!
The First Challenge....
The day of the challenge quickly arrived, and the team packed up their minibus first thing and set off on their long drive up to Fort William. The plan was to climb Ben Nevis before dark on Saturday, then head overnight to Scafell Pike to climb peak two as the sun rose, before driving down to Wales and hitting Snowdon before the 24-hour time limit was reached. What could go wrong?
The drive to Ben Nevis was awesome, whizzing past delicate waterfalls and huge craggy Munros, set against the expansive highlands sky – it’s something we’d highly recommend doing. The climb up Ben Nevis however was probably the toughest challenge the team faced. After taking the obligatory photos, they started up the mountain path and quickly realised that Ben Nevis really lets you know you’re not just out for a morning stroll right from the very beginning.
The Scottish weather behaved in its rather typically changeable style and the team found out first hand that mountains have a habit of mixing things up quickly. You can start off in sunny 25 degrees and by halfway, the mist has begun to roll in and ice-cold rain means you’re finding yourself decidedly soggy, not to mention freezing cold! Ben Nevis in particular can be pretty damp at the top - there’s a reason it translates from Gaelic as ‘mountain with its head in the clouds’.
Unfortunately, the team ran into injuries early in on the climb with pulled calf muscles and twisted ankles slowing them down. After a moment of elation at the summit and taking in the awe of walking through snow in June, the team, feeling cold and tired, headed back for the minibus. Regrettably the descent wasn’t to be without difficulty and Barry took a tumble, bumping his head on the rocks and giving the entire group a genuine scare. Working together to keep morale high, they somehow made it safely down the mountain and were incredibly glad to warm up in the minibus.
On to Scafell Pike...
The overnight drive to Scafell Pike gave them all time to rest and recoup but a diversion on the road lead to the driver getting lost and a couple of hours taken from their timings. Battling with sleep deprivation after a few broken hours of sleep in the back of a minibus is one of the greatest challenges of the Three Peaks. It’s a real mind-over-matter struggle and with the team arriving at Scafell Pike later than planned, they started the climb feeling somewhat demoralised.
However, the weather decided to go easy on them this time and the climb was clear, pleasant, and relatively easy after their injury prone first climb. The summit reached, the team made their way back down in decidedly brighter spirits and ready to take on their final peak!
The Final Push...
Some four hours later the team arrived at Snowdon, tired and aching but determined they would make it. With earlier injuries seizing up it was a full team effort to get everyone up and back down again safely, but they stuck together and saw it through. Thankfully their second run at Snowdon was to prove more enjoyable than the team’s first trip. With better weather this time round, the group were able to appreciate the beauty that Snowdon offers, and the evening climb meant having the mountain relatively to themselves. As they reached the summit the clouds parted with perfect timing to reward them with the stunning views the area is famous for and created the perfect ending to their The Peaks Challenge.
We’ve all asked the team involved if they’d do it again and there’s been a mix of answers. For some if they never see another mountain up close again, it’ll be too soon. Others already have plans afoot to climb Yorkshire’s Three Peaks. The overarching response from the whole group, however, is that it was an unforgettable experience, and they are unbelievably glad they did it; being able to achieve something so difficult as a team is absolutely priceless.
There's still time to donate to the team's epic adventure - visit Just Giving to show them some support!