Friday, November 09, 2007

Three Peaks Challenge - Snowden (The final peak)

We reached the final peak and I knew exactly what I had to do.

I had 5 hours to complete the challenge in the 24 hour time limit. The guys who had done it before said it should be easy to do it in that time. I was still a bit worried that I'd got this far and could still fail to complete the challenge within 24 hours.

I thought that Snowden was the most picturesque peak that we did. There's a lake that you walk around for the first half hour or so which is paticulary beautiful. The lake section is basically flat. Unfortunately this is not the case further on. The lake section finishes abruptly and you are left looking up a steep path with the Snowden summit a high and distant destination. There is no let up in the steep path and it changes into more of a scramble as you get closer to the summit. This was very hard going especially as the first half an hour was so easy in the lake section.
Tourists who had gone up on the train were running down in flip-flops and sandles with shorts and t-shirts, this just made my back pack and boot seem heavier.

We finally reached the top in about 2 hours. At the summit you could see for miles and miles around it was amazing. As I looked around the summit I could understand why people put themselves through such difficulties to get to these summits.

We quickly ate something and set off back down. One of the guys who had done it before suggested that we take a different route which would be easier on our legs. Unfortunately we took his advice.
The route was flatter than the path we went up on but we had no clue about how long it was going to take to get down. This was agonising as I just wanted to get down as quickly as possible. Two of us were together and we were both cursing the guy who had told us to go down this way.

Now, time was ticking and we didn't know how long was left to go so we were both getting a bit worried that we wouldn't finish on time.

Finally with 1 hr and 1 min left until the 24 hours were up we could see everyone waiting for us. Suddenly I could feel my legs again and we had a race to the van. We had done it.

I finished in a time of 22 hrs and 59 mins (The slowest in the group :-).

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