Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Three Peaks Challenge - Scafell Pike ( Scare Fell)

The walk up Ben Nevis was a real experience. All the way down I was debating with myself about whether I should continue with the challenge or not. I decided to wait until we got to Scafell Pike to see if I wanted to continue.

We set off for Scafell Pike, the second peak in our challenge.

The drive to Scafell was done overnight. We all tried to get a bit of sleep (except the driver) to recover from 'The Ben' but it was difficult having 6 people in a VW Sharan all trying to get comfortable at the same time. I didn't think I got any sleep but everybody said I did so I must have got some.

We reached the starting point for Scafell Pike at about 1 - 2 am in the morning. This was too early to start because under the rules you are not supposed to start before 4 ish in the morning as this can disturb the locals. We decided to stop the clock and get a bit more sleep.

It got to about 3 ish and it became apparent that we couldn't sleep any more. We saw some people in a camp site near by, they were preparing to start the hike. We decided that it should be ok to start our hike.

It was still pitch black so everybody checked their head torches. I felt pretty good after the sleep and rest in the People Carrier so I decided to carry on. I made a concious effort to pack a lot less than on 'The Ben' with only a sandwich, a small lucozade bottle, my water pack and a sandwich.

We started the hike with a walk through some farms and then got on to the hike proper. It was decided that we would take frequent stops and walk together because it was dark and no one knew the proper way up.

Scafell is supposed to be the most difficult of the 3 peaks because of the terrain, the fact that you don't see the summit until the very end and there is some scrambling involved.

I was feeling really good as we went up, I tried to stay with the leader as much as I could.

There were a lot of stops because navigating in the dark was really hard. This helped me in a way as the frequent stops allowed me and everyone else to rest.

It was starting to get light so we decided to have a drinks break before the last stage of the hike. Surprisingly I was still feeling good.

Scafell's terrain was mostly small rocks until we got about three quarters of the way up. Then it turned into big boulders. I didn't like this section because it meant that I had to lift my legs more than a millimetre in order to jump over the gaps between the boulders (By this time my style of walking was more like sliding rather than discreet steps, so this was difficult).

I was near the back of the pack but still walking strong, we were all fairly close together. There was a peak fairly close to one side, a few of us thought (probably hoped) that it might be the summit. It wasn't to be...

Finally we saw the summit. The bad news was that we had to go down a steep path and then climb back up a path to get to the summit. I wasn't happy when I saw what we had to do.

We were going down quite a narrow ridge and I could see a fair way down the sides of the ridge. I thought that one wrong step could mean disaster (It wasn't that bad but it felt worse when I was there).

The final scramble to the top was quite scary because it was steep and there was loose stones all the way up.

As the sun was rising we reached the top. It was a very nice moment.

A group of girls was coming up the summit form another path. They were running up !!! I was amazed at that. They were doing the 3 Three peak challenge as well. One of them took our Summit photo and I took the Summit photograph for them. We had a quick chat and then the girls were off. We set off soon after.

Again the transition from uphill to downhill was major pain. The jogging technique helped as before. There was some great views as we walked down and I started to see why people do this kind of thing.

My knees felt sore, but were hurting less than then when walking down 'The Ben'.

We got to the bottom of Scafell and even managed to race the last bit (We regretted it when we got to the MPV).

The second peak had been completed and we were on the last leg and on our last legs :-) Next it was on to Snowdon.

2 comments:

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

Thanks for linking me to your blog. Sounds like you had fun on the peaks, even if it was hard going...it's good to read about what I might be getting myself into!

- Kristin

P.S. Sorry about posting my other comment and deleting it. Figured I should put my link in there so you know who this random person commenting is!