back to archive4x Back to Back in 72 hours

4x Back to Back in 72 hours

I’m always doing challenges to raise funds for mountain rescue especially the Ogwen Valley team as I know some of the members.  Being a mountain leader I spend a lot of time in the mountains of Snowdonia,  the 3000’s route is one I’ve done many times before so the idea was borne that I would do a 3000’s challenge for them.

As with all my challenges I have to make it extremely hard …or its not a challenge right?  So I looked in to the history of the challenge and saw no walker … in fact no one at all had completed it 4 times back to back.  The records show the fastest time set by a fell runner and the 3 times crossing by another fell runner so I decided on trying to go one better but do it all in a 72 hour target.

This was a challenge which I could not, and would not  take lightly.  I put it out across social media letting the outdoor world know it was being attempted and I was blown away by the support I had for it.  As the day drew nearer the donations came flooding in, I was even loaned a tracker with live satellite tracking so people could log on and follow my progress.

The day arrived along with the hottest weather of the year so far, which I knew would make an extremely hard challenge even harder but there was no way I was pulling out, I was dropped off by my partner Lisa at the start line and I was raring to go.

Lisa, my one-woman support team, has to be praised here and if I was handing out medals she would have been first in line.  She walked up hills to meet me if I needed extra supplies and she set up a base camp in the ogwen valley, a place where over the course of the challenge I stopped for a hot meal and a few snatched moments of sleep.  This really was a godsend and without her efforts I honestly believe I wouldn’t have got to the end.

I was also humbled by the amount of people I met over the course of the challenge who came up to me wishing me luck , even coming up with donations; I'd only accept notes as I didn’t want to be weighed down with change!

I can't really put into words how tough an undertaking this was and a few times I slumped on the ground and questioned why I was putting myself through this pain.  Then it would come back to me that there were people believing in me, following my progress over the internet and not least of all, I was raising some much needed funds for the guys and girls of mountain rescue; they help people all the time so this was my way of giving something back to them.

Over the course of the challenge I was getting more and more fatigued, I was suffering from the heat, lack of sleep and a blisters on my feet the size of France but I had to go on.

On my final leg, I hobbled into Pen y Pass car park ready for the last 3 summits and was made up to see Lisa and members of the Ogwen Valley team who were going to walk up the Pyg track and meet me at the finish line at Snowdon summit,  I really was on my last legs and it seemed to take an age to get from Garnedd Ugain to Snowdon, I really wasn’t in a good way but I shuffled up the steps to the summit with cheers and claps ringing in my ears, I had nothing left but I had done it!  I'd also beaten my target and completed it in 71hrs 45  mins, for me though the best thing was that due to generosity of the outdoor community I raised over £2000 for my efforts and that was very humbling.

Special mentions have to go not only to Lisa, who as I’ve already stated went above and beyond to help me complete this, but also Charlie Beale , Chris Lloyd, Dave Brown and Jed Stone from the  Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team; they could see the state I was in and stuck with me on the descent back to Pen y Pass, it was only when I was down that the enormity of what I’d done hit home.