Nine brave climbers from all corners of the UK met in the Midlands and then set off together to Scotland to first take on Ben Nevis, before moving to England’s Scafell Pike and ending with Wales’ Snowdon all within a one-day period.
And despite challenges including a broken down minibus, floods, thick fog and lost climbers, the group that called itself the Peaky Climbers returned triumphant.
Nick Hodgson, who was one of the nine climbers, said the group (who were Jeni, Sadie, Brogan, Debs, Alex, Laurie, Jack, Paul and Nick plus drivers Leigh and Andy), was made up of cousins, brothers, sisters and partners aged from their late twenties to their forties. Included in the nine were teachers, an occupational therapist, a social worker, a firefighter, two designers and two fitness instructors.
Nick said the group decided to raise funds for Meningitis Now because both he and one of their drivers had suffered from the disease. Nick fell ill when he was 17 and has been left with deafness in one of his ears.
“We decided to do the Three Peaks as we had always talked about it,” he said. “And Sadie, one of the team, had it on her bucket list of things to accomplish for her 30th birthday”.
Nick said the group had drama before they even set off – with a broken down minibus almost scuppering the whole challenge until luckily an alternative was found at the last minute. Even so, the breakdown put the team behind by a couple of hours and set the clock ticking!
“The event itself was really challenging,” said Nick.
“When we arrived at our first stop – Ben Nevis – the staff in the tourist shop told us it would be dangerous and that a few climbers had turned back but we decided it was worth a try as we had travelled so far”.
It turned out that this part of the event would be the most difficult with heavy rain, flooded streams cascading down the mountainside, thick fog and even snow to navigate through. Not only that, but at one point Nick and one of the others in the group took a bit of a diversion to help some lost walkers get back on track.
“We did reach the summit but it was freezing and very foggy,” he said. “We started to walk back down but by the time we were two thirds back to the bottom it was getting dark…”
The group travelled on through the night to their next peak – Scafell Pike – and found themselves even more behind schedule due to roadworks. They also, according to Nick, had the “worst minibus in history” as the unpadded seats were so uncomfortable, which meant little sleep was had by all. Luckily the next climb was slightly easier – Nick said it was steeper and the rocks were slippy but at least it wasn’t raining!
Finally it was on to Snowdon where the weather was “altogether much better, dry and not too damp on the rocks so you could get good traction,” said Nick. The weather held out and all nine climbers completed the challenge in just over 24 hours. An amazing achievement considering all the setbacks!
Definitely worth it
“We were sponsored by a company that I have worked with through my business called Love Life Supplements, who supplied us with t-shirts and protein and energy drinks, which really helped us complete the challenge,” added Nick.
“In all we have already raised around £1,500 with more to come – so despite all the challenges it was definitely worth it!”
Although Nick’s team organised their own Three Peaks Challenge, we at Meningitis Now can do all the hard work for you (apart from the actual climbing bit!) if you would like to join one of our organised events. Please visit our Three Peaks Challenge page to find out more.