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Wiltshire and Bath Youth for Christ team

Wiltshire and Bath Youth for Christ team scale nearly half the height of Everest in 21 Hours to complete their 15 Peaks Challenge.

Team Wiltshire & Bath YFC along with a team from Gloucester CAP (a total of 10 of us) were up at 2.30am and leaving Pen Y Pas in Snowdonia National Park at 4am to head up the first section of our 15 Peaks Challenge; raising funds for youth work in Wiltshire and Bath delivered by the Christian faith-based charity Youth for Christ and Christian Debt Relief charity CAP.

What followed was certainly an adventure. The first section which took in Crib Goch, Garnedd Udain and Snowdon summits was fun; spirits and energy levels were high and after a tricky descent we made it to our first stop in Nant Peris ahead of schedule, to meet our support driver Tony who had been busily preparing our food. At this point one member of the CAP team had to stop due to a migraine; it was a tough decision for him but certainly the right one. Refuelled and ready to go we embarked on the Glydders section, which was far tougher than we anticipated. The first ascent saw us climb over 800m in one go and what followed was a mix of descents and ascents on boulders and scree with little visibility as the cloud descended, making navigation very difficult at times. Tryfan, the UK's favourite mountain according to Trail Magazine, was a formidable opponent at the end of section two and taking a longer route down meant we were now an hour or so later than we had hoped, with 20 kilometres still to go.

The Carneddau section would prove very challenging indeed and we were very grateful for the support of a lone walker, Aaron, an ex-mountain rescue team member who was attempting the challenge for the third time, having not completed it on his first two attempts (this gives some idea of the magnitude of the challenge). Dan, one of our team, felt very sick as we ascended towards summit nine of the 15; as result of fatigue, food intake and dehyration. It was the experience of Aaron that got Dan up and feeling better. Furthermore we had taken a far more difficult ascent than planned and Aaron's guiding got us to the top of the plateau. Behind our planned schedule it was now a race against the setting sun; walking, climbing and pressing on to complete the challenge. As the light began to fade we were nearing the finish, the team were exhausted and desperate to make Foel-Fras, the final summit in the challenge, which we did at 10.45pm.

However this was not the end of the walk. In only the light of our head torches, on unknown terrain with the continued guidance of the angel-like Aaron we navigated through boggy and rocky terrain and over a couple of smaller peaks as we headed towards the car. We had seen our support vehicle lights in the distance at about 11.15pm but it took us until 12.40am, early on the morning of Sunday 15th June to arrive in the car park. Once he had confidence that we knew our way on our final march to the pick-up point, Aaron, without allowing us to thank him, went ahead and seemed to disappear. If only we had been able to thank him, for I am pretty sure that without his support we would not have completed the challenge.

After 21 hours of walking, ascending about 13-14,000 feet and raising over £6,000 we are tired, achy and elated. Thank you to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, encouragements and sponsorship. Team Bath and Wilts YFC would like to thank our main sponsor Varn Media for covering the costs of the adventure and the sponsorship of Ridgemill, Genuine Car Services and Sainsbury's in Bradford on Avon. Team Gloucester CAP would also like to thank their sponsors.