A group of brave pupils took on the National Three Peaks Challenge

The Charity Challenge event this year looked to build on the success of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks from last year and take it to the national level. Taking on the National 3 Peaks is not easy; Ben Nevis 1345m, Scafell Pike 978m and Snowdon 1085m, each is a day’s walk in their own right. The total walking distance this is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent 3064m (10,052ft) – twice that of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, over a similar total walking distance. The team went for the recognised 24-hour challenge with the option of dropping onto the ‘sensible’ challenge – competing all 3 peaks up and down in under 15 hours – useful should the half term traffic not be on their side.  

On the Thursday of the summer half term, they departed after weeks of preparation and kit checks. To break up the mammoth 9-hour journey (even longer in a restricted minibus) to the start in Fort William, they stopped and tried their hand at panning for gold in the Leadhills and stayed the night in Moffit. Mr Majid led the prospecting team which may have had limited success but they were happy to be out of the bus all the same. After a couple of hours, they conceded there was not enough gold for a retirement fund, so headed back to Moffit. They found an Italian restaurant for the team to get their final carbohydrate intake, then returned to the hostel for one final kit check.  

When they finally arrived in Fort William there was still a wait to be had as the departure time of 1700 had to be stuck to, to ensure maximum light and the least amount of traffic, or so they thought. Mr Daniels led the team and Mrs Brighton-Watt set a great pace as they attacked the steep slopes of the first peak. Ben Nevis took them 5:38:04 which was only slightly slower than expected. Leaving the base of Fort William in the dark, driven by O Liberman and N Liberman, they made great time to the Lake District. After a quick breakfast they were up and down Scafell in an amazing time of 3:51:44. Sadly their luck turned, and they hit some terrible half term traffic on the M6 which would meant they would not finish in the 24 hour window. With the planning, effort and distance travelled, they knew we had press on all the same. It was poetic to be walking off Snowdon, the final peak with the sun setting down the valley. With 4:30:14 on the clock, they got into the minibus for one last time. The team’s total walking time was 14:00:02 which was an hour quicker than the average time taken on the mountains and achieving the Sensible Challenge! Lydia F D, Callum B, Will S, Sammy H, Limony A, Inez C, Finn S and Alf S made up the rest of the summit team and raised a great amount of money for charity and pushed themselves to the limit, not just physically and mentally on the mountain but what also the amount of time one can spend on a minibus.  

You can support the trip by donating to: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/greshams-national-three-peaks