Three Peaks Challenge completed in aid of type 1 diabetes research
Neil Paterson and six friends from Cheltenham recently completed the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon. Neil's four year old son, Harry, has type 1 diabetes and the team wanted to raise money to help fund research into the cure for the condition. This is Neil's account of the Challenge...
Storm force winds of 70mph gusting to 90mph were de rigeur. The snow started with 400m of 'The Ben' to go with a foot of snow (drifting to a lot more) on the last stretch, meaning the last 100m of the summit, up and down, had to be navigated by compass alone as visibility was so poor. The blizzards were unbelievable; snow and hail stung our faces, temperatures, we have heard, were -15 degrees, and the ravines and gulleys were hidden with snow! Very, very, very scary times indeed. Even the trig point had lumps of ice on it! Cue first grown up conversation of the weekend as to whether to continue. We did and hit the top in just under three hours. Up and down in five and a half hours.
Scafell was a god forsaken place, especially at 3am. Winds and more driving rain didn't put this particular lump of English rock in the best light! Most of the words we used about Scafell were short and I have chosen not to type. Up and down (and good riddance) in four and a quarter hours.
Snowdon was awful and didn't stop raining from start to finish. Winds were stronger than on Ben Nevis and truly dangerous. There were no steps or paths, only waterfalls. After a serious man chat 30 minutes from the top, we decided to go for it. We hit the top in two and a half hours and were back in the van just under two hours after that. No joke I had half a pint of water in one boot alone!
Despite utterly terrible and downright dangerous conditions (and a van limited to 60 mph!) we hit the top of Snowdon in 23 hours exactly and completed the descent in 24 hours, 55 minutes.
On behalf of all of us, thank you so much for your support which drove us on in our darkest hours (and there were many).
Neil and the Three Peaks 6, including:
Rich 'I ain't sleeping in no van' Hale
Chris 'Bright Eyes' Lewis (please, don't ask him to sing)
Dan 'Shut the gate' Gurney
'Put it away' Dave Means
Stuart 'Hot Wheels' Harris (don't mention the near miss… with a petrol tanker)
And me, Neil 'Old man' Paterson