Peak performance!

FOUR intrepid local men conquered their “Three Peaks in 24 Hours” challenge, and have so far raised a magnificent sum of over £4000 for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre.

Friday, 27th April 2012, 3:49 pm

As was reported in last weeks Herald, Stuart Andrew, from Kemnay and Philip Kelman, Calum Nicol and Ross McDonald from Kintore set off last Sunday to climb Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and finally Ben Nevis, all within the space of 24 hours.

Having driven down to Wales on the Sunday, they started their marathon trek on Monday at noon with blue skies welcoming their ascent of Snowdon, a height of 1,085m / 3560 feet. Calum told the Herald, “We all started off at a good pace and managed to keep this going to the top, at some points we thought we were perhaps going a bit too fast as were passing a lot of people but we all felt comfortable enough.

“We reached the top of Snowdon in good time took a few photos and made for the car park. We completed Snowdon in two hours 50minutes we allowed four hours for this climb so we were all delighted with this first climb.”

Fortified with “fancy pieces” courtesy of Stuart’s Mum, they headed off for the Lake District and Scafell Pike, a climb of 978m / 3210 feet, arriving just after 7pm.

Calum said, “The majority of Scafell Pike could be described as a staircase, it’s just never ending, I think we all started to struggle near the top of this steep incline, stopping for drinks and a hit of sugar (fancy pieces) every so often and a bit of encouragement from each other was enough to keep us going.

As darkness fell, they continued using head-torches and GPS to guide them, “We eventually reached the peak by this time the wind was strong we got the photos done then got out. The walk down was easy but very unpleasant on the knees, they were taking a bit of a battering on the “stone staircase”, about half way down the snow started then eventually started to rain on the lower parts but by this time we weren’t worried as we knew we were heading back to the warm car.”

They set off on the final leg, arriving at Fort William at 4.25am and stated off to complete the trek at 5am. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind, embarking in pouring rain and before dawn had broken.

Calum said, “By this time we were struggling, Ross being the fittest kept us going by shouting at us, in a good way of course. We stopped regularly just to give the body a rest for even a minute and also to stick together as we were a team!”

By now it was snowing heavily, “the snow started to become a problem it was getting deeper and the almost white out conditions. The path disappeared under the snow from now on we were relying on Stuart and his GPS.

“We took a little while to find the cairn at the top, we wanted to be sure we were on good ground as we could still see nothing! We eventually found the top got some photos and got back down the mountain as quick as we could.”

On making their descent they had made the final climb in five hours 30 minutes, giving an overall time for the jou5rney and the three peaks of 22 hours and 30 minutes, inside their 24 hour target, a fantastic achievement.

Calum added, “We would have to finish by saying a huge thanks for the generosity everyone has shown to us for this. We have now almost raised £4000 without gift-aid and £4852 including the gift-aid – an amazing sun none of us expected.

“We would also like to offer a final thanks to Enterprise for offering a hire-car at a massively discounted rate – it was much appreciated.”.