Following a health scare earlier this year and some long standing family problems, I vowed to regain my physical and psychological health. I joined an organisation called the British Heart Foundation whose purpose is to improve the management of heart diseases through research and also through encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle choices. One crucial change is to increase the amount of exercise and physical activity engaged in. They combine the two ideas, that of fund raising and fun exercising in a number of sporting challenges, organised throughout the UK during the course of the year.
One of these Challenges is called the Three Peak Challenge. It involves walking up the three highest mountains in England Scotland and Wales. These are Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in The Lake District, England and Snowdon in Wales. It is a national challenge and usually completed over 24 hours. The British Heart Foundation arrange their version over 48 hour, for health and safety reasons. The rest of this article is part of a fuller account which I have written and published else where, relating how myself and other team members: Jane, Nat, Jon, Chris and Ben; collectively called “Shake them bones”, completed the Three Peak Challenge.
“Of all the three mountains, Snowdon, to my mind is the most picturesque. I had not ascended via this route before, and so the climb and some of the views were new to me; though both Jon and Jane had covered it previously. Initially apprehensive and physically extremely tired, Jane was rewarded for her efforts by being able to view sights she had not previously seen. She told us that previously the visibility had been poor, and it had been wet and windy. On this occasion, it was a sunny late afternoon: few clouds, no wind, views for miles, it was the perfect ending to the day. We did not need to race; we just needed to enjoy, and as we clambered over the steep boulders with the notorious Crib Goch towering above us and Llyan Llydaw below, we did just that. We even joined a team called “Shaky Bones” and for a while, all “the bones” limbered up the mountain together.
After clambering up the steep cliff side, we joined the Llanberis route with which I was familiar, and the landscape as ever was breathtaking. Now all the walkers left on the mountain were smiling, partly at the views, partly at making it to the top. We climbed up to the marshals, proudly proclaiming ourselves to be “Shake them bones” all of us, and we had made it. Finally onto the summit; we took our victorious pictures of views in every direction. Nat even insisted on standing on it, to her brother’s horror and concern. We encountered a couple who mountain biked beside the railway track down the LLanberis route. We thought them slightly mad and Nat called out ” See you tomorrow!” referring to the hospital, our place of work.
The journey downward was a stroll though not always gentle; the mountain was so quiet save for the brief chatter of people, the call of various birds or the bleating of sheep. Jane was not able to rush but dug deep on her resources, and though it was late when she and I finally returned to the car park, we were all on a high; we had completed the Three Peak Challenge.”
From “Completing the Challenge.” Denepher Smith@ Associated Content.
In conclusion, I would add that although the organisers of the event we took part in were the British Heart Foundation; several other charities were represented on the day. Particularly on the Sunday, the event had an international feel as many languages and accents were heard. A group of young men carrying a large green box on their shoulders were noted first at Scafell and later at Snowdon. As the event drew to a close they had time to explain in detail what the box signified. Shelter Box are offering an acute respones to world wide disaster, housing in large green boxes all the immediate essentials required for survival. It seemed an appropriate time to be considering human survival as a whole.