On Saturday 20th July 2019 at 6.12am, the Nuffield Health team (Chris Hall, Glenn Alford, Max Bell & Curtis Poole) set off from the base of Ben Nevis, with one goal in mind. Conquering the three tallest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in under 24 hours – all in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester.
It was never going to be easy, and we discovered this soon after starting the tallest of the three peaks. It was a misty, cloudy morning in Fort William which made things difficult for us. With the peak barely in sight, it felt like the mountain was forever getting taller! Roughly 4 hours later, we had climbed and descended Scotland’s highest peak, and we were ready to drive south back into England. Next stop, the Lake District, Cumbria. Scafell Pike.
Approximately 5 hours later we had arrived, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining, which presented a new challenge, climbing in 25 degree heat! Scafell Pike, the shortest of the three mountains at 950m, gave us some amazing views and we even managed to top up our tans! This climb and descent took roughly 3h 30m, which put us well ahead of our schedule. We were feeling confident and motivated by the fact we had just gone above our original fundraising target of £1500.
This was where the challenge really started to become difficult, we were all starting to feel fatigued and sleep deprived, as we started the 4.5 hour drive through to Wales. One final peak to climb – Mt Snowdon in the National park of Snowdonia. This would be the teams toughest challenge in the 24 hours, we started the climb at 1am, after snoozing in the car for a while, this was hard to become motivated! It was pitch black, cloudy, cold and also starting to rain, we had around 5.5 hours left to spare! After a brief 30 minute delay (losing the path in the dark) we summited the mountain at 3.45am!, believe it or not, going down is sometimes the hardest part. Knees and ankles feeling very sore, we descended the welsh mountain with some fantastic views of the sunrise, crossing the finish line at 5.29am – nearly 45 minutes to spare!
The feeling of accomplishment after 55km of trekking distance, 3408m ascending height, and 71,000 steps was just unbelievable, it was mentally and physically the toughest challenge we had ever faced, and we are thrilled to say we did it all for a fantastic charity.
Chris Hall, Deputy General Manager at Nuffield Health Chichester