Friday, 6 August 2010

Three Peaks challenge!

From Tuesday 2nd Aug at 5.07am until finish Wednesday 4.30am.

Ben Nevis time;
3hrs 53mins.

Scafell time;
4hrs 55mins.

Snowdon time;
3hrs 15mins.

The idea to do the 3 peaks all started when I returned from my last big cycle ride. I wanted to do something else but I don't really have that much time to do another mega adventure!!

That's where I only really need a day or two off work to complete this, and with no training... this really would be another challenge!!

I was working all day on Monday 1st Aug. I finished work at around 6pm. Then it was up to Fort William I eventually arrived there at 12am ish! after nearly hitting several Stags that just appeared on the darkness of the roads in the Glencoe area...... I looked for a cheap hotel just so I could get my head down for around 4hrs! This did not happen so I ended up sleeping in the car in a truck stop park. I could not really get a great sleep it was on and off all the 4hrs or so, when I decided to make a move it was around 4.40am, that just gave me time to drive the short distance to the Nevis car park, still half asleep I paid the parking fee, got my gear together and I was off !!

The weather was poor, but it was just starting to get light (Very misty not going to be any views on the summit that's for sure)
I was walking away, although it was misty and drizzling it was rather warm, and for that reason I wanted to change into my shorts.. trouble was I didn't put them in my rucksack !! So instead I was down to my undies :-) (Well it was cooler)

I walked for around 45mins and was next to the lake part way up the mountain, I was tempted to go for a quick dip in there, but thought No, I need to carry on (Thing is.. I wished I would have done it now!) Next time I will..

After around 2 and a half hours I was at the summit (Brilliant! ) was a feeling to get there, although nobody there but me. I was straight down after taking a few snaps, then my plan was to try and run/jog all the way down to make good time.. I did end up jogging around 80% of the way down which I was happy with that. Not looking at the time I carried on until I reached my parked car at the Nevis car park, I opened the car door put keys in ignition, and Bamm! time came up on dash display 9.00am ! WoW... Record time 3hrs 53mins. The last time I was timed on the 3 peaks was back in 1996 on a Organised trip with coaches for Cystic Fibrosis, and the time then for Ben Nevis was 4hrs 38mins . I was very pleased with my time this time considering I'm 14yrs older this time.

So it was 9am and I was off now driving to my next Mountain Scafell.. my plan was to start Scafell on Wasdale Head side (I knew this was the easiest way but the steepest way) I drove through Glencoe and took some pics along the way stopping at Loch Lomond too (Very nice places in Scotland). I thought the adventure had come to an end when the traffic came to a halt along the A82 to Glasgow just along the side of Loch Lomond, a 4x4 car had overturned blocking the road temporarily (Thank god) It was soon moved and I was on my way again (Nobody was injured by the way in the crash)

I was driving along the A74 and was feeling a little hungry by this time, also my fuel was running low so I pulled into a services for some grub! and Fuel ! After an hour I was off again, was really bad traffic but I suppose that's what you get doing it in the working week! I was now along the A66 towards Workington and guess what ?? Yes another 4x4 car was overturned Amazing !! 2 in the same day.

4pm and I'm at Wasdale Head at the base of Scafell and wastwater (Very nice around here) I head off and the summit is only just covered in cloud! Brilliant, could get a great view from this one :-) I was trekking up Lingmell and turned around to take a snap shop of WastWater (Nice pic) then after carried on up, when I got the the 2 main rock faces the Cloud cover dropped dramatically, so much so I could not see the steep climb up in between Scafell and Scafell pike!

So I carried on up not realising I was slightly right of where I should have been going up, I was encountering very steep/rocky slopes, very dangerous in misty wet conditions but I carried on up. My though was I could not turn back down here it would be too dangerous, so I scrambled on up until I reached the top of the main rock slabs. I did then see a little narrow path which I knew was at the top. I turned left and walked around a hundred yards the I saw the place I should have come up from Phew! that was risky the way I had just come up then..

I had a good idea in which direction the summit was from here so i carried on in the direction I though and eventually after a lot of here and there I reached the summit Yeah! Number 2 summit done.. I started to get the iphone app up on my phone to check where I was once I left the summit and made my way to where I thought I had come from, the gps app was saying I was not where I thought I was.... ohh dear! where am I? The app was now playing games and kept moving positions all the time so I could not get a proper fix on my position, so I was wandering around the summit in the thick cloud cover, eventually I had to trust the app and took a slope down the Mountain, when I was near the foot of the Mountain and the cloud broke I could see the view !!

It was not the view of WastWater on the left.. it was open moorland (Where am I? I was thinking !) Well I got the phone out and tried the app again, this time it said I was down the other side of Scafell !! Blimey. I don't believe it, my thought straight away was I'm not going back up the Mountain and into the cloud again to be fooled by that application again.. I made the decision to walk around the base of Scafell (Harder than it sounds, I can tell you) especially in Bogs with hidden rocks and knee deep bushed to wade through..

After a few hours of thinking the iphone gps app was playing silly buggers again, I really thought I could be anywhere in the Lakes, the app was saying after 1 more hill I should see WastWater... but no, it was hill after hill after hill until I did eventually see the WastWater lake :-0 what a relief! I was back on track again Yessss... But I was losing time, also my wife was getting worried when I called to say I was slightly lost for a while :-(

I eventually arrived back at the car at 9pm (Legs shattered after the hike up the Mountain but I thought even more exhausting was the trek around the Mountain in the boggy base of the Scafell range.

I worked out that from Scafell to Snowdon was around 4 and half hours drive, I was off again driving through the unlit lanes heading back towards the town of Barrow and onto the main road out of the lakes. Once on the M6 it was plain sailing straight down to Llanberis arrived at 1.15am (Feeling quite knackered by now)But onwards and upwards.

I have done Snowdon in the past in the darkness so this was going to be a easy trek, also with no snow on the higher slopes even easier to get to the summit, I just followed the train tracks straight up. The weather closed in misty, raining was a drag but completed and back to car for 4.30am (No pic on summit Too dark/misty and wet) Once back at car it was a quick 30mins power napp before I headed home.

Job done ! Until next time...........

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