Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Three Peaks Challenge - Ben Nevis (The Ben)

We started at about 3pm on Saturday afternoon. One of my work colleges
had done the challenge before. He said that Ben Nevis was the longest
one of the three peaks, but it was easier than Scafell Pike. I was in confident mood as we started.

confidence was completely misplaced. As soon as we started I knew it
was going to be tough. The first section on Ben Nevis is fairly steep
and everybody else in the group was powering ahead, I was struggling
straight away. I was using a completely different set of muscles then I
ever did playing football or even normal running. On top of that it was
quite hot and I had a big back pack with me. I had been ultra cautious and packed the back pack with lots of extra stuff.

about half an hour of trying to catch up to the other, we decided that
we should all carry on at our own pace and then meet at the top. That
was fine by me because I was struggling to keep up. I carried on at my
own pace.

One of the things that I wasn't prepared for at all was the terrain. It was so varied. Some of it was big boulders that you had to climb over, some of it was bricks and some of it was like pebbles. The big boulders were really draining because you had to lift your leg up that extra bit for every step.

were lots of people coming back down as I climbed, they were all saying
that I was nearly there and there wasn't long to go. Some guys coming
down stopped where I was resting and we started talking about Monty Panaser
and how he was going to bowl out all the Aussies in the Ashes. It was a
really friendly atmosphere and everybody was trying to encourage one

I really couldn't wait until I was coming down.

I reached the top. the rest of the group was waiting and taking
pictures of the view. They said that I was only about 10 -15 minutes
behind them. I was quite happy with that because all the way up I had
been thinking I was miles behind everyone else.

I had my photo
taken on the highest point in the U.K., had something to eat and
quickly prepared for the journey back. We split into two groups with
two fastest ones of the group going ahead and the rest of us in another

Walking downhill felt completely different to walking up
hill. At first it felt really good because I was no longer using the
climbing muscles but the more we walked the more it felt like my knees
were going to explode. For some reason it felt better when we started
to jog down than when we were walking. I think it was because when you
walk you are constantly trying to stop yourself from running down, this
causes a greater impact on your knees whereas if you run / jog you can
go with the flow more and this reduces the impact on your knees.

We finally reached the bridge where we had started ( the other two and the driver were waiting for us ) the three
of us took our boots off and soaked our feet in the river under the
bridge. It felt good. We finally managed to get out of the river and
struggled into the people carrier to set off for Scarfell Pike...

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