Over the last few years I have climbed Snowdon a number of times. However, I have never had the chance to attempt Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis. I knew at some point I wanted to complete the national three peak challenge. ‘My Mammoth Year’ seemed the perfect excuse.
Although its popular to complete the challenge in 24 hrs, Owen and I decided to attempt the climbs over three days. Logistically it made things easier, and it was nice to have a bit more time to enjoy the scenery.
I selected Easter weekend for the challenge as it worked well for our schedules. What I didn’t really consider was how busy the roads/mountains might be. I worried that this fact would delay us, however I should have not been concerned. We successfully climbed the three peaks within the planned time frame window. We also got really lucky with the weather. Beautiful sunshine across the entire three days.
We climbed Snowdon first. We chose a route that we were both familiar with and flew up and down the peak within four hours. We started our climb fairly late in the day. Owen was worried we might miss the carpark closing time and pretty much ran down the mountain to get back to his car in time. He made it…just. He definitely channelled his inner mountain goat that evening.
Next was Scafell Pike. We drove to the mountain on the Saturday morning, setting off fairly early. The drive was pretty smooth. I was unprepared for the gorgeous scenery we were to encounter. Lake Windermere a personal highlight! Scafell Pike was mega busy with lots of people choosing to make the ascent on Bank holiday weekend. It meant there was no chance of getting lost as we could just follow the crowds to the summit. One less thing to worry about. We were not too sore from the day before and got up and down in good time. We then made the drive up to Glasgow, where we stayed with my parents.
Ben Nevis was our final climb. My Dad decided to join us despite his so called dodgy leg. Owen and I still felt relatively ok. It was the most challenging climb and took us around seven hours to complete. I can understand why most people who attempt the challenge start with Ben Nevis. Get the hardest out the way first, smart. For the other two mountains we remained in shorts and t-shirt for the duration. However for the Ben, we needed to don our cold weather kit. It was touch and go whether we would even make it to the summit as snow was making our final ascent tricky. We pushed through. What an amazing feeling it was to get to the top! After completing our final peak, fatigue certainly set in. I could barely keep my eyes open during the journey home. Surprisingly, after a good night sleep, we were not suffering too badly. My dad, on the other hand, didn’t get off so lightly. I think it took him a week or so to recover…apologies Dad.
I really enjoyed this challenge and loved that I could share it with some of my nearest and dearest. It also helped that the weather was fantastic which I am certain helped keep morale high.
Here’s to ticking another one off the list!
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