Sidbury team complete Three Peaks Challenge for Sidmouth Living With Cancer

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:25 08 October 2018

An early morning view of the Highlands, taken from Ben Nevis. Picture: Mark Bishop

An early morning view of the Highlands, taken from Ben Nevis. Picture: Mark Bishop

Mark Bishop

Team have raised £3,000 after climbing Britain’s three highest mountains

Glencoe, on the way to Ben Nevis. Picture: Mark BishopGlencoe, on the way to Ben Nevis. Picture: Mark Bishop

Seven intrepid walkers from Sidbury have achieved the notorious Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in one marathon hike.

The team overcame snow, freezing winds, aches and pains and poor visibility to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in just under 25 hours, which included only three hours’ sleep.

Their trek has so far raised more than £3,000 for Sidmouth Living With Cancer.

The team, who called themselves Snowdon White and the Seven Sids, comprised Gwenan Paewai, Mark Bishop, Rodney Cross, Jud Lascelles, Rocker Sheppard, Ollie Derryman and Jake Voss, with Martin Banks and Kitrina Bishop driving their minibus.

Sunset at Scafell Pike. Picture: Mark BishopSunset at Scafell Pike. Picture: Mark Bishop

After a 10-hour drive to Scotland, they set out at 6.15am on Sunday, September 23. The snowcapped Ben Nevis proved difficult; Mark recalled; “Although climbing up was more tiring, coming down was much harder on our knees and legs.

“The impact on your joints is up to seven times your body weight and while you can train your muscles for climbing, it is very difficult to train your joints to cope with that sort of repetitive impact.”

Their target time for completing the challenge had been 24 hours, but they took an extra 58 minutes after hitting traffic between Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. They also took a longer route down Snowdon than they had planned, for safety reasons. However, they were still well within the 13-hour target for the three climbs, which amounted to around 26 miles. Much of it was in the dark, making for some memorable experiences.

Mark said: “As we climbed, the full harvest moon lit up Snowdonia for miles around, and in some places it was possible to walk without torches. In a world where we are surrounded by artificial light, and sound, for so much of the time, to witness the moonlight on the mountains and lakes accompanied by dead silence was a surreal and awe-inspiring experience.”

He has also been “blown away” by the generous response to the fundraising appeal. However, an error on the mydonate webpage prevented anyone donating before September 25 from adding gift aid. This could lead to a shortfall of about £700, but the charity can claim it restrospectively if the donors concerned contact Mark on mtj.bishop@hotmail.co.uk and fill in a simple form. Donations can be made by visiting the website https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/7sids

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