Thirteen intrepid adventurers met in Glasgow today for the start of their Ultimate Three Peaks Challenge. They had been putting in training for months before the trip began and had travelled from all corners of the UK by train, plane and automobile. The Ultimate Three Peaks challenge consists of climbing the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales whilst cycling in between them…all in seven days.
As the More Adventure team, Dave, Ben & Tom, sorted out the gear and got the bikes loaded onto the van, there were a few apprehensive comments (mainly from Dave), but spirits were high and the team were ready to begin their epic journey across the UK. The More Adventure team even had time for an umbrella balancing competition…there was always only going to be one winner.
As the group arrived there were some apprehensive questions.
“How many layers do you think we should wear”, asked Vana.
Diplomatic Dave came to the rescue, demonstrating his lifelong layering system for mountain climbing. Feeling it inappropriate to consider stripping down to his base layers, we were instead all treated to a short talk on the benefits of a multi-layer clothing system for our ascent of Ben Nevis.
Our bus driver John helped load the luggage onto the bus then attentively enquired if we’d like any on-board entertainment for the drive to Glen Nevis Visitor centre,
“D you’s lakk a bitta Kevin Breedges?”
So that was the bus journey sorted. We all sat back and listened to the delicate tones of one of the funniest men in Scotland! Our next stop was the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre where we’d tackle the highest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis. At over 1300 metres from sea level, this is undoubtedly the longest climb out of the three mountains, but the team were ready.
There were hundreds of people climbing Ben Nevis…literally hundreds! The coach park was full of Three Peakers and day trippers, all wanting a piece of the highest peak in Scotland. Our team were focussed on our attempt, and after a brief from Tom, the climb began.
The climb from Glen Nevis is long and lumpy but the views make up for it. We stopped a couple of times to rest whilst Dave handed out an assortment of Indian snacks to keep morale high.
Three and a half hours later, the team summitted Ben Nevis. There was still a reasonable amount of snow so Dave briefed the group on the dangers of cornice collapse. We were in good hands!
Next came the tricky part – getting back down! The long descent from Ben Nevis is always the hardest part but the team took it in their stride. Soon they were back down at the car park where Ben had assembled all of the bikes. There were a few(!) midges around so a quick turnaround was essential. The short ride into Fort William was a respite from the biting flying things…