After a long wait with plenty of training, we finally completed the Three Peaks 24hour Challenge. 12 of us headed up to Fort William on Friday 4 July and stayed at the Ben Nevis Inn Bunk House, which is situated at the base of Ben Nevis. The weather was lovely and the view of the mountain spectacular. The food in the Ben Nevis Inn was fantastic – I certainly recommend the Ben Nevis Burger with salad.

After a long night (the bunk house has people coming and going at all hours), we started the challenge at 8am Saturday morning. Again, the weather was great and we completed the ascent and descent of Ben Nevis in 4 hours 40mins.

We programmed the tomtom for Wasdale head in the Lake District and enjoyed a few sing-a-longs. Andy made a compilation CD containing everyone’s favourite hits. This ranged from Queen to Abba! With only one quick service stop, we arrived at the base of Scafell Pike for 7.35pm. At this stage we were about an hour behind our original schedule and took the decision to cancel all the remaining pit stops and set off the minute the last climber reached the bus. We reckoned we could get back on track if we could make time savings.

Scafell Pike was extremely tough. The rain poured down within our first 15 minutes and we all got drenched. But spirits were high and we pushed on for the top. The ascent took approx 1hour 45mins, which was really pleasing considering the bad conditions. The descent was rather more tricky. The rain had made the rocks wet and slippy. Furthermore, by 10pm it was pitch black. The last walkers wer back in the bus by 11.10pm and we set off immediately for Mount Snowdon. A total time of 3hours 35mins.

The drive to Mount Snowdon was much quieter. We were all starting to feel the aches, pains and tiredness. With no stops we reached Pen-y-pass car park at 4am exactly. We gingerly poured out of the bus into the dark car park and took the ‘miners track’ route up Mount Snowdon. Everyone found the scree climb particularly hard due to muscle abuse and 20hours without sleep. But with persistence and very little talking, we reached the summit for 6am. For the first time, we realised that the 24 hour goal was well within our reach. With a lot more enthusiasm, we took the same route back down to the base of Snowdon, arriving to our drivers smiling face and a warm hand shake. Time on the clock 7.40am (TOTAL TIME 23HOURS 40MINS).

After a quick change out of our wet clothes, we enjoyed a lovely cuppa at the Snowdon base café and some of us even managed to polish off a full cooked breakfast.

All in all, it’s been a fantastic event. The limbs are now aching like mad, and we’re all walking like c3po from Star Wars. But it’s a proud achievement for us all, and something to look back on forever.

A special thanks goes to our dedicated driver Matt. He was fantastic – driving all the routes, getting us to our destinations safely. He also bought sandwiches and drinks whilst we were climbing, therefore saving valuable time and keeping us all well fed and motivated. Having a good driver is the most valuable asset for the whole event.

Wonder what event we’ll try next year……………………..probably something with less walking and more beer!

Ben Nevis 4hours 45mins
Scafell Pike 3hours 35mins
Snowdon 3hours 40mins

Total distance on foot 22.8miles

Chosen Charity

Following the consideration of many worthy causes, the group members have decided upon The Bobby Moore Fund as our chosen charity. In 1993, Stephanie Moore MBE established 'The Bobby Moore Fund' in partnership with Cancer Research UK, in memory of her late husband Bobby Moore OBE. Bobby, who will always be remembered for captaining England to World Cup glory in 1966, tragically died of bowel cancer aged just 51.

Bowel cancer is the second largest cause of cancer death in the UK, after lung cancer. Almost 100 people in this country are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 45 die from the disease every day.

In return for either enjoying seeing us succeed in our challenge, or if it floats your boat, watching us suffer, we have set up a very simple way for you to donate to The Bobby Moore Fund. At the top of the blog there is a link that will take you directly to the Justgiving website where you can donate as much, or as little as you like.

We have set ourselves a fundraising target of £2000, but we would like to raise much more. So, please dig deep and give as much as you can!

Mountain locations and accommodation

Walking Routes

After a bit of discussion about the various routes that we have seen on other websites and those contained in Brian Smailes' book, we have now sorted out an important part of our preparation.

Ian B has spent time plotting the waypoints into GPS software so that we have a record of the routes that we plan to follow for each mountain. If you are interested in looking at the routes we are taking and the gradients we will be posting them on this site very soon.

If you are planning on carrying out the walk yourself, or would simply like a copy of the routes that we will be following, you will also be able to download all three routes in one .pdf file from a link that will be available next week.

We will be trying out GPS for navigating the routes, but will still be getting some practice in using the trusty old compass just in case it goes pear shaped.

The target walking time for each mountain are as follows:

Ben Nevis - 5 hours

Scafell Pike (Wasdale) - 4 hours

Snowdon - 4 hours.

With the training that we plan to get done before the challenge, we are hoping that we should be able to shorten these target times. This might allow us to achieve a respectable time. With the necessary driving time between locations this is still going to be a tight schedule...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Minibus Playlist...

Just thought that people may want to know the secret of our success. Well the England Cricket team were psyched up by Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' when they were victorious over the Aussies in the 2005 Ashes Series... The Three Peaks Challenge team had their own musical motivation.

The track listing as played in the the minibus on the official Three Peaks Challenge 2008 playlist is below. The final three tracks are what Matt the driver made us listen to on repeat for three hours solid... after which we were extremely eager to get the hell out of the minibus and up the mountains come rain or shine!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Rolls Royce donation

Many thanks to Rolls Royce for donating £200. Furthermore, a collection on the shop floor raised a further £105. Absolutely fantastic news.

Saturday, 14 June 2008


On 14 June we stood at the main entrance to our local Asda collecting for the charity. From 10am to 5pm, we chatted to lots of different people about our challenge and in doing so, we raised £197.10.

Many thanks to everyone who donated their loose change on the day.

Friday, 13 June 2008


Our raffle managed to raise approximately £300 which is absolutely fantastic. The following prizes were up for grabs:

2 Tickets to see South Pacific provided by the Assembly Rooms
Family ticket to Twin Lakes (x2)
Family ticket to Conkers
£25 gift voucher for Samways (x2)
Family ticket for Quasar
2 First class return tickets on any routes served by East Midlands Trains
Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne provided by Majestic Wines
Boxes of Chocolates provided by Thorntons
2 Odeon cinema tickets

A draw took place on Friday 13 June – winners have all been notified.
Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and supported our charity.

£250 donation from the Shelter Maintenance Company

The Shelter Maintenance Company have kindly donated £250 towards our £2000 fundraising target for Cancer Research UK - The Bobby Moore Fund. They provide services for bus operators and local authorities who are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of bus waiting areas.

Tenpin donation

Many thanks to Tenpin, who are based at Foresters Leisure Park, Sinfin, for the donation of complementary tickets for Quasar.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Derby County

Many thanks to Derby County FC for donating a home shirt. We'll try to raise as much as we can for our chosen charity

Friday, 23 May 2008

Yet more raffle prizes

And the prizes keep coming... Thorntons in the Cornmarket Derby have provided more raffle prizes. Thank you very much!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Majestic Wine Raffle Donation

The very kind people at Majestic Wines, Ashbourne Road, Derby have supplied us with a bottle of champagne for our raffle. This is currently sitting in a very safe place in the office, and will be unveiled on the day of the draw... Friday the 13th of June 2008.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

T-shirts and promotional posters

Many thanks to Multiprint of Derby for providing us with t-shirts and promotional posters at a massively reduced cost. Visit their site at for all your printing and clothing needs.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Radio Derby interview

On 15 May a couple of the team attended a live interview on Radio Derby. We chatted with the presenter of the evening drive time show (Ross Fletcher) about our expectations and our chosen charity. Ross was a fantastic chap who made us feel at ease straight away – hopefully we’ll receive a few more donations.

If nothing else, we got to see inside a studio and experience 5minutes of fame.

Scafell Pike training run

Sunday 11 May saw us all up at 5am in the morning!!! The roads were fairly clear, and we all arrived at the start for 10am.

Scafell has two main routes to the top, and this training session was hopefully going to help us decide on the best approach for the challenge in July. One group ascended from Wasdale Head and the other from Seathwaite. The plan was to meet at the top and compare times.

The Wasdale approach took 1hr 45min to climb and 1hr 20mins to descend. However, the Seathwaite approach group took much much longer. They were 2hrs 40mins climbing and 2hrs 10mins descending (they got lost many times).

We still managed to meet at the top and have a group photo.

The weather was baking hot and made hard work of the task. I certainly drunk a full 2litre bladder of water!

Having looked at the seathwaite groups pace and recalculating the correct path, we’ve been able to calculate which approach will be best on the day. The options are as follows:

Climb and descend from Seathwaite
Climb from Seathwaite and descend to awaiting bus at Wasdale
Climb and descend from Wasdale

Looking at the driving times on our SatNav, the time saved climbing Wasdale is outweighed by the extra journey time on the mini bus. We seem to get the same times for the overall challenge whichever approach we use.

The safest option may be to climb and descend from Seathwaite – this is nearer the M6 and has less likelihood of meeting slow moving traffic in the Lakes. I’m sure as a group we’ll change this plan later though!!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Stannage and Burbage Moor walk training walk


First of all I must point out that the following training walk took place on the 6th April - yes I know it a bit late, however it's taken a while to get the pictures back from the photographer.

Anyway below is an account of the Stannage and Burbage Moor training walk; also below is a short summary of this walk for those of you with little time.

Short Summary of walk

We got lost! - many, many times over!

Stannage and Burbage Moor walk

Well as most of the group were either washing their hair, taking their cat for a walk or making any other excuse not to attend (basically because Snowdon is the week after) it was just little old me and Ian Wallis (sound familiar? First training walk was just me and Richard). Anyway this was fine as Ian had been running around here numerous times and like we said - "only an idiot could get lost around here".

It was a crisp winter morning; fresh snow has fallen the previous night blanketing everything in a white thin layer. The sun was out and all was calm; we set off early and started walking at 08:30 hours. At 08:37 we got lost (sound familiar? yes again my first training walk with me and Richard ... maybe It's me???). Anyway we headed along the white fields and hills towards Burbage Moor; it was a well made path so only an idiot could get lost at this point!

After retracing our steps (and crossing a stream twice) we found the road that we should of been on and headed to the summit of Burbage Moor. It was beautiful at the top; you could see miles around. We found the "yellow / orange" path we were supposed to pick up and followed it all the way to the reservoir.

I must now point out that we didn't actually want to go as far as the reservoir, we missed the path we should of taken. Anyway we then decided to travel around the reservoir and pick up the path on the other side.

With immense joy we picked up the path we should of been on and started to head on the last stage of our epic journey; it was a pretty well made path so only an idiot could get lost!

Yep you guessed it! After some back tracking, choice words and looking at the map and compass we did eventually make it to the path we wanted. With the village, that we started at, in site we headed towards the car.

It was supposed to be an 11 mile walk; however after a few wrong turns, or as Ian put it "spontaneous decisions to extend the training walk" we added an extra mile! We made it back to the car, all we had to do was drive home ... only an idiot could get lost now!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mount Snowdon 13 April 2008

We arrived at a rainy and cold Snowdon for 10.30am. The climb was made tougher by the sheer amount of snow and ice. This made the climb quite difficult, both physically and technically. We reached the summit in 2 hours 5 mins, where the visibility was about 5metres. The descent took about 2 hours 30mins, but we did get lost at the top for 45mins due to the snow drifts and lack of visibility.

This was the toughest test we’ve had yet, however, Snowdon shouldn’t be totally covered in snow when we complete the challenge this July. As I write this today, my thighs are really aching – but it was worth the climb for the absolutely spectacular views when we descended the mountain.

The following link shows some of the photo’s we took

(Video link to follow)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Ilam Country Park walk

With the prospect of Snowdon in a couple of weeks, a few of us decided to get an extra walk in. We took a day off work on Tuesday 1 April (officially of course). We started and finished at Ilam Country Park in Staffordshire. The walk was approximately 9.7miles, and included 1650ft of ascents. We headed north along the hills adjacent the River Manifold taking in the village of Wetton and Thors cave. We then crossed the river and headed back through Throwley Halls.
The weather was dry with sunny spells, but the ground was very hard going. The majority of the walk was on soft wet grass and mud, putting loads of strain on the old thighs!

The whole walk took about 3hrs 48mins, which includes a lunch break, and time spent exploring inside Thors Cave. The average speed whilst walking was about 3mph.

An excellent training walk with spectacular scenery.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Team raise £150 for Derby Mountain Rescue

The team have raised £150 which we have donated to Derby Mountain Rescue. We held a small prize draw within our department at work and decided to give all the funds we gathered to this worthy cause. The lucky winner was drawn at random and walked away £50 richer!

Derby Mountain Rescue are a completely voluntary emergency service who attend callouts 24 hours hours a day, 365 days a year. Their main function is to search for and rescue injured walkers or climbers, but this can extend to helping find vulnerable people who are reported missing in rural areas.

More information can be found on their website:

Easter Monday - Kinder Downfall

Despite a bit of a dodgy weather forecast, Ian B managed to round up Ian W, Mat Otter and myself to take another trip up to Edale, Derbyshire on Bank Holiday Monday. A 07:30 start from Derby saw us arrive in Bowden Bridge shortly before 09:00. The walk started at the Bowden Bridge car park and continued along the narrow road leading from Hayfield up to Kinder Reservoir. We followed the road for approximately 1km before reaching Kinder Reservoir where we circumvented the countours around its northwest side.

After a fairly arduous climb up William Clough we arrived at a point between Kinder and Mill Hill. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground and as we made our way south-east we faced a short steep ascent onto the Kinder plateau. Once on Kinder we trekked through the snow in an attempt to find the wreckage of a air crash. After managing to locate the various scattered pieces of plane, we headed 2km along the edge of the plateau towards Kinder Downfall.
Following a spot of lunch at the Downfall we continued walking along the edge of the plateau heading towards Edale Cross. From this point there was a long gradual descent back down towards Bowden Bridge car park.

There were some great views from the top of the plateau, made all the better by the snowfall that had settled on the hills.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Wilkinson's make generous donation.......

Many thanks to Wilkinson's for pledging £500 to our charity. This is large step closer to reaching our final target, and an extremely generous donation.

The Roaches

Our longest walk so far proved to be a good test of our fitness. A brisk Sunday morning saw us tackle ’the Roaches’ in Staffordshire. Thanks to Alan, we were able to track out progress and were quite pleased with the outcome. We covered 13.7 miles in just under 5 hours, which gave us an average speed of 2.7mph.

Nine of us turned up for the walk, which saw a large mixture of obstacles, including mud, rocks, rivers, styles, crags, gulleys, heather and quite blustery conditions. We started in Gladbach car park and completed the anti-clockwise route. The planned walk was 12.5 miles, but we took a couple of wrong turns!!

In all, we covered 792m of ascents, which is approximately 60% the height of Ben Nevis. The day remained dry and the scenery was spectacular.

A brief stop half way at Ye Olde Rock Inn Public House was certainly very welcome!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Another donated raffle item......

fantastic!! Twin Lakes have kindly donated a family ticket to add to our raffle. Many thanks to Emma and the team at Twin Lakes.