Just one week after returning from my trip around Australia and New Zealand I was off again for Easter Weekend on another adventure. This one was to form part of a colleagues stag party and would be the Three Peaks challenge.
Normally the Three Peaks challenge should be done in a 24 hour period but as that means a lot of travelling when your starting point is Leicester and almost certainly no sleep we opted to do it over the Easter weekend instead – that meant we could travel the 420 miles up to Fort William in Scotland on the Friday and then do one mountain per day for Saturday to Monday. I’m not sure what a drive like that would be like in places like the US, but in the UK it’s considered to be a pretty long drive and would take around 8 hours to complete without stops and depending on traffic.
Our first peak would be the largest in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. We’d heard the weather reports saying that it would be under heavy snow so our first task upon arriving in Fort William was to find somewhere we could hire crampons from.
After visiting a number of places we were given a telephone number of a small company who might still have had some left. The problem was with the amount of snow on the mountain it wasn’t really possible without the correct equipment which meant most places had hired all theirs out. This last company fortunately had enough crampons left for the seven of us to hire out so we made the trek over to a house on the hillside where this lady ran the business from. When we got back to the hotel we made sure we had a rough idea how to fit the crampons to our walking boots – of course the following day when we climbed the mountain we found we’d done it wrong.
After having tried on the crampons we then headed to a nearby restaurant for an evening meal followed by a pub near the hotel. Unfortunately once at the pub I was so tired still from the lack of sleep the week before that I didn’t last long before retiring for the evening.