13th….15th June 2008
The RYAN KEMP 3 peaks challenge 2008.
THE RYAN KEMP 3 -PEAKS CHALLENGE 2008.
excellent 3 peaks challenge site.
Well Friday 13th June eventually arrived, good job we were not superstitious,
After the previous 6 months practice walks etc, organising, I think everybody was now just itching to get going on the Challenge itself.
Friday 13th June 2007. till Sunday 15th June 2007.
Following our minibus pick up’s, it was back to various homes for people to prepare themselves for the challenge.
12.15pm, earlier start this year to try to miss traffic on M6, as you will see this did not quite match expectations, was it the curse of Friday 13th ?.
Everybody ready on the 2 minibuses,
As we left Greenfield Avenue in our brand new minibuses, everything appeared fine, then the bloody bleeping started, the Taco in our brand new minibus, decided it would bleep every 30 seconds or so, clearly we could not put up with this, so after a drive round to Moulton Park , to the hire company office, we discovered no one in the office, a big hammer was suggested at this time, but no, we calmed down and decided to visit the main van dealer on the way to the M1, very “helpful” !!!!!!! guy suggested that he should perhaps remove the Taco, as he did not have any idea how to stop the bleeping, with Taco removed; we set off for the motorway at 1.35pm, so much for the early start.
As we reached the dual carriageway, the driver noticed that since the Taco had been removed, we did not have a speedo on the van, so no idea what speeds we would be travelling, so back in goes the Taco, along with the bleeping, good old co-driver after a lot of button pushing managed to control the bleeping, so that it only started when the bus speed dropped below about 10 miles per hour.
SCOTLAND HERE WE COME.
Off we went, the 1st part of the journey which is always a little anti climax, usually stuck in traffic for a while on the M6, this did not change this year, only about a 15minute hold up on the way to Sandbach Service station, chance for stretch legs etc.
We left Sandbach after about 20 minutes stop over, at 16.05
Another couple of hours M6 driving till we reached TEBAY Westmoreland service station at 18.05.
A very welcome "HOT" meal was taken here; this was to be our last decent meal until after we had completed our 1st peak, The BEN.
Leaving Tebay around 18.55, we then had another couple of hours driving, until we reached HAMILTON Service station,
We eventually reached Hamilton Services at 20.55, just stopping for toilet etc, and then leaving at 21.15 for the final leg of our journey through Glasgow, (M8) to Fort William.
After the weather forecast for the previous few days we were amazed to still see the sun shining brightly right through till about 10.00pm
It never really got dark at all due to the clear skies, absolutely fantastic weather.
Was this the Friday the 13th curse again, as we reached the split of the A82 and A83 at Loch Lomond, we discovered that the A 82, our road, was closed, not knowing the roads of Scotland that well, we followed our Sat Nav, the whole diversion route actually put approx 50 miles etc on the journey, plus an extra hour at least.
When we eventually reached the Glen Nevis Visitors centre Car park at 12.45am, A quick change of clothes etc, bags ready.
With dry weather at Fort William, there did not appear to be any of the annoying "Midges" about that we usually encounter.
After everybody had got ready for the climb, final farewells to drivers, we eventually started the "CHALLENGE" at 1.15am. Only about 15minutes later then the 2007 challenge.
So off we went 11 walkers all in a line starting our 1st ascent of Ben Nevis, "The BEN".
Mick, Irene, John, Shannon, Sarah, Bernard, Lizzie, Holly, Dave, Aaran, and Andy,
Leaving Cath, George, Victor, Brian and Tony, our drivers behind to get some well earned kip.
After about 2 hours walking, it really was light enough to turn off the majority of our head torches, Venus could be seen clearly in the Sky, Approx 3.15am we arrived at the "lake in the Mountain", this particular lake is used to supply fresh water to the Ben Nevis Distillery,
At this point, we noticed that the sun was starting to rise in the East. It was here that we decided to stop for a breather and some snacks etc.
After our snacks we continued for about 15 minutes, and then crossed the RED BURN, this is approx half way between bottom and summit.
The next stage of the of the walk starts to become quite steep in places, with the path now Zig Zaggin it’s way to the top, every time we stopped and looked east the Sun was rising steadily higher,
After some interesting walking across the normal snow patch that covers the path close to the Summit, (Due to the clear skies the snow patch was rock hard), like walking across a skate park.
On the summit it’self, the actual rocks were all covered in a thin layer of snow / ice, which made for a very tricky last few yards to reach the top of GREAT BRITAIN.
6.15am on the Summit of the BEN, with no view to speak of, cloud had enveloped the summit just before we reached the top.
After the Photo shoot etc, we finally started to Descend from the BEN at 6.30am in sunshine.
Due to clearness of the day etc, the group all split up for the trek to the bottom.
Final walkers arriving at the bottom at 9.15am, still a very respectable time for the BEN during a 36-hour 3-peaks challenge.
Breakfast at Morrisons went well, not too much waiting around this year.
After re-fuelling at Fort William, it was time to set off for the LAKES.
Leaving Fort William at 11.30am, slightly later than anticipated,
I think that most people suddenly found themselves very very tired, after the trek up the BEN and then full breakfasts; sleep was the order of the day.
As we reached Calendar, the weather began to change (As forecast), only a short sharp shower though, nothing like last years challenge.
Following a short stop at Gretna services ( 15.45 till 16.30) we left for the next leg of journey the 2.5 hour journey from Gretna to Wasdale.
Arriving at Wasdale around 18.55, in glorious sunshine.
After getting ready for the walk ahead, at Gosforth, due to large number of 3-peakers around we decided to change into our walking gear at the main car park, in Gosforth, we were then ready to jump off the bus at Wastwater while the drivers found somewhere to park the minibuses.
We started our ascent of Scafell Pike at 19.30, in wonderful late evening sunshine.
As we were ascending to Scafell Pike we could see the path that we would normally descend by (mickledore and Brown Tongue) footpath, however due to erosion this path is now deemed to be too dangerous to descend by, so the decision was made to ascend and descend via same route.
The last leg of the ascent to the summit of SCAFELL PIKE we had a wondrous sunset out to the west over the Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man visible in the distance.
However as we reached the summit, the wind was making for a very cold stop at the top, following photo’s etc we then started our descent.
Arrived at the summit of SCAFELL PIKE at 22.00, leaving the top at 22.15.
The descent from Scafell Pike was, as usual quite laborious, why do the descents always appear to have bits added on, whilst you are coming down the Mountains.
Arriving back at the minibuses around 1am.
AT THIS POINT I MUST SAY A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR DRIVERS, WITHOUT DRIVERS THE WHOLE CHALLENGE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PLACE; WE CAN NOT PRAISE THE DRIVERS TOO MUCH.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH LADS AND LASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
CATH , GEORGE, BRIAN, VICTOR AND TONY.
Following a change of clothes etc in the minibuses, we left the Lakes (Wasdale head) AROUND 1.45AM for our journey to North Wales.
We journeyed down the M6, stopping briefly at Lancaster services for fuel etc (4.00am till 4.25am).
The weather as we reached North Wales was not too bad, quite dry, but some high cloud,
We reached Pen Y Pass car park at 7.05am, still on time for completion of the 3-peaks challenge within 36 hours.
When we arrived at the car park, Elaine and Lee, were also on hand to meet us, after sleeping in their car for a few hours till we turned up.
Lee was also to Join us for the Mount Snowdon Walk.
Due to the footpath ( The Pyg Track Route) being reasonably clear to the summit of Mount Snowdon, the group left to make their own way to the Summit and back, starting our ascent of Snowdon at 7.45am, the last group reached the summit, thankful to be on the last summit at 10.40am, quick photo’s then the descent, the last group arriving for the picture call by George, at the foot of Snowdon taking individual photo’s of everybody has they passed the "FINISH" line.
The final group arriving at 13.05pm, 3-peaks in 36 hours completed by everybody.
Hot tea was made available to everybody supplied by our "Back up" van drivers.
Then of course the customary wine , beer and Cider etc also came out.
In conclusion of the challenge.
The Start of the Challenge was BEN NEVIS, with the weather the views etc on the ascent and descent on this mountain certainly made for a very good start to the Challenge,
ON A PERSONAL NOTE I WANT TO 1ST THANK ELAINE, LEE, IRENE AND ALL FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF YOUNG RYAN FOR INVITING ME TO LEAD THE GROUP FOR A 2ND TIME ON THE CHALLENGE THIS YEAR.
I FEEL SO PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF THIS CHALLENGE, WITH SO MANY FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF Ryan’s TAKING PART,
This HAS CERTAINLY BEEN FOR ME, ALSO A VERY EMOTIONAL 8 MONTHS, culminating again in this wonderful Challenge.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all the walkers for allowing me a moment of solitude / quite on the summit of each Mountain, this helped me a great deal, in dealing with my own personal losses over this past 8 months, and many thanks for joining with me with our little NIP of Whisky on Scafell and Snowdon,
Dad, Ken and Greg were all there with me.
THEN OF COURSE I CAN NOT EXPRESS MY THANKS TOO MUCH TO ALL THE WALKERS / DRIVERS , HELPERS ETC WHO HAVE MADE THIS CHALLENGE POSSIBLE, THIS YEAR MY CLIMB OF BEN NEVIS WAS MY 21st, I have taken Church groups, 3 -peakers, family members and friends up over the last 13 years, but for me the emotion of the event this year is certainly one that I shall not forget.
MANY MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR ALLOWING ME TO TAKE PART WITH YOU.
Next year the 3-peaks challenge shall take place over the weekend of 12th, 13th and 14th June, with Fathers day being on June 21st.
As next year I am celebrating my 50th year, I am trying to arrange for new participants, plus past participants to join with me, please do e-mail if you would like to be on the provisional list.
I shall be splitting proceeds from next years event 4 ways, 4 charities that have been dear to me over the last 13 years, they are :-
RNBT, (Royal navy benevolent trust ), Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Tools for Self reliance, Northampton and C A N Northampton.