Well it’s done…the first challenge at least and it was brutal – we had three seasons in one day and aptly one per mountain too.

 

Ben Nevis – we started the climb just after mid day on the Saturday and with the mountain covered in low cloud it was tricky to see the conditions further up, we had aimed at a run of around 5-5.5 hours and set off at a really good pace.  The mountain starts as a series of zig-zags which gets progressively steeper until we sit just under the peak where we make a direct bee-line for the summit.  Heavy snows over the preceding weeks though had left around half a foot of ice and snow for the last 100m of the summit push which significantly slowed down our progress but we eventually made the summit where we met some nice American’s who took our picture with the baton and were intrigued as to what it was and what it was for.  Thankfully we had taken leaflets with us so we could hand them out.

The trek down the mountain for me was incredibly fast and I made the base around 6 hours after starting the trek, Kertrina followed around 30 minutes afterwards and then we set off for Scafell Pike, a 5 hour journey in the mini bus

Scafell Pike – We were exhausted for this one, in order to meet the challenge we allow 10 hours for driving and 14 for the climbs.  With 6 already used up we would need 4 each for Scafell and Snowdon.  This would be tricky as we would ordinarily be looking at 4.5 hours each on average!
.
The climb was tough and with lack of sleep many of us felt the effects of the journey, with the added problems of the rain and cold it was difficult to keep going.  Anticipating this I had decided to stow the Baton against my back against the pack where it would feel uncomfortable, it gave me a contact reminder to those that suffer so much more than I could on any mountain ‘for fun’.  At the time of thinking this I had thought it a bad idea but after pushing onto the summit it made perfect sense!

Unfortunately I made it to the top a lot quicker than Kertrina so I placed the Baton on the summit ledge in the rain for a picture which in all honesty is one of my favourite pictures for the weekend primarily as I knew how hard it was to get it there.

Heading down was a different kettle of fish but we raced down a ‘short cut’ route which resulted in a very steep descent to the valley floor but saved us some time completing the mountain in 4 hours 20 minutes.  Kertrina followed another 45 minutes making it pretty impossible for her (and 4 others) to hit the full 24 hour mark.

Snowdon – the weather in North Wales was fantastic and it was decided to run two groups, fast and slow.  I went off just behind the fast group as I was helping Kertrina with her pack when we all set off and spent the climb on my own which was fantastic.  I had the opportunity to take out the Baton during the walk which prompted some questions from a number of people on the route which was satisfying as most people missed the Baton on Scafell due to the conditions.

Stowing it again when I hit a near vertical climb up to the summit I again almost gave up and was faced with a bit of panic when I couldn’t feel the Baton against my back for encouragement – it had slipped inside my fleece when I had put it back in the bag and missed it digging into my back when I needed it the most but after a struggle I made it to the summit where I was told Kertrina and the 4 others had turned back.

his picture was a huge relief to me as I searched for someone to take the picture I was desperate to get the Baton held aloft!!

 

Heading down the mountain, again on my own I hadn’t given much thought to the time until I hit the valley floor and realised with around 2 miles to go I was only 5 minutes over the 24 hour period.  I did try to give the route a run but my legs were done so settled for a fast walk instead!!

 

I got back to the start/finish point after 4 hours 15 minutes on the mountain going an overall time of 24 hours 35 minutes – at the moment I’m happy with that but I’m sure in the future I will want to beat the 24 hour clock!!!

.

Now looking forward to the next one…