UK 3 Peaks


After a 9 hour drive in a very old rusty bucket of a mini-bus we arrived at Ben Nevis (approx 1,400m). It was clear and good walking conditions. We started the walk at 2pm and immediately 2 groups formed, the under 30’s and the over 40’s. Nothing can prepare you for the relentless climb it seems to go on forever with very little respite and the descent is hard on the knees and back. The younguns did it in 3hrs 46 mins whilst over 40’s took 6hr 40mins. I personally described the climb in a text to friends as the most relentlessly painful and finally unrewarding thing I had ever done! it was both physically and mentally hard however, the view and scenery on the way up is spectacular and momentarily make it feel worthwhile.

The drive to Sca Fell Pike was difficult and long and we set off late from Scotland so didnt arrive until 6am. We started at 7.05am and this climb (approx. 900m) was shorter but much steeper and again relentless with thefinal climb to the summit being strewn with boulders and rocks and the path very difficult to see and follow. It was cold and wet from the start and conditions a bit miserable especially at the top.Iit was a very hard climb but I personally found it easier than Ben Nevis as it was shorter but others found this one much harder, 2hr 30min for the younguns and 4hrs 30mins for the more mature walkers. We had fantastic soup in the pub at the bottom and there was a good spirit as we only had one to go!  Wet set off for Wales at 1pm, we were aware that again it was a long drive and we would be arriving to do Snowdon quite late with the possibility of desending in the dark.

We arrived at Snowdon (approx. 1,000m) at the Pyg Track route at 6.45pm,we had decided to do this route as it was the shortest although the steepest. We were all in relatively high spirits (although nervous about the descent in the dark) as it was the last one and eveyone was optimistic but very very tired. The weather was rubbish, raining and very windy even at the bottom. After climbing 800m along the Miners track we arrived at the Pyg track which was unbelievably very very steep and very difficult to keep to. The wind had picked up considerably it was still raining and we were losing light fast, everyone was starting to become a bit concerned about the descent as we were wet and cold. The younguns had gone ahead but we had them in our sights as the ascent was so steep, it was 8.35pm and Sam wisely suggested it may be prudent to just see how conditions over the next hour progressed and reassess the situation; to be honest I was a bit dismissive as we were only about 200m from the summit and really wanted to get to the top as we had come so far. However, we had passed several walkers all of whom said conditions were aweful at the top with 70-80mph winds, rain and visibility was getting worse as cloud cover was dropping. We decided to have a meeting on the steep path with wind and rain hammering us. A group of walkers came passed and advised us not to continue as they thought it would be far too dangerous to continue, we called the younguns back down and agreed collectively that although we wanted to get to the summit we should listen to experience and not put anyone in danger. We turned back and within 20 minutes the cloud cover had enveloped the route above and the rain and wind had picked up considerably, we were freezing cold and wet through when we finally all reached the car park, we all agreed that we had definitely made the right decision thanks to Sam for taking lead at that difficult moment and using her experience and wisdom.

We were all disappointed that the weather had beaten us but I felt personally I needed to come back soon when conditions were better to get to the summit of Snowdon and the group agreed. We decided we are all going back on Sept 2nd to do just that.

I can’t think of a nicer group of people to spend a totally fabulous weekend with in a bashed up mini-bus, climbed 3 mountains with, was in pain together (over 40’s) and who tolerated me moaning constantly about my knees on the descents :-) Many many thanks to: Sam Badger, Sharon Lyne, Donna Gibbs, Sean Fiddler, Jillian Corbett, Dan Ward, Curtis Gordon, Michal Woroniak and Jay Fiddler. Not forgetting our drivers who we had some laughs with Mick ‘Slumber’  Mullaney and James ‘Kineval’ Burtenshaw. Also to Roo our 5 year old son who we dragged along he was so good. Trix. XXX

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