The Challenge

Three Peaks

There is an island known to those who love her as Great Britain (if you can’t see it, you may well be sitting on it). Dotted around the place, but mostly in the northern parts, are mountains, carved by fire and ice in the deep past. People have always lived among these mountains, but in the past couple of centuries, spurred on by poets and dreamers wearing spurs, more and more people have begun walking, and sometimes climbing, up to the tops of these, poking around, eating a sandwich, and returning. When questioned why someone would do this, they might reply “Because it’s there, and I had nothing better to do, and had bread that needed finishing.”

For reasons that have made a lot of people quite angry over many centuries, on this island you can find one country, but also three somehow [Note to self: update this sentence as required]. Some nerds worked out how tall each of the mountains is (although they occasionally change their minds) and so we now know which is the highest peak within each of these “countries”. They are called Yr Wyddfa, Scafell Pike, and Beinn Nibheis, although you English pigs may know the former and latter as Snowdon and Ben Nevis. As the crow flies, it is 278 miles between them (for continental readers, a mile is a more esoteric and fun way of saying 1.6 kilometres). As the earthbound mammal walks, it is more like 500. That is where I come in.

Background

In 2016, an unfortunate series of choices led to me falling 40 ft down a cliff and breaking my back, one foot, and the other ankle. I was very, very lucky not to suffer any nerve damage, but it still threw me into a spiral of pain, anguish, and despair. I lost all independence, was placed in a wheelchair and had to face a long recovery, full of uncertainty and doubt. As horrible as it was, I knew I was getting the merest glimpse of what might have been had my spinal column been damaged; of the challenges some people face every day, for the rest of their lives.

Two and a half years later, I was more or less healed and was thinking about undertaking a big challenge. I wanted to show myself that I had overcome my injuries, and raise some money for charity, so that some good could come from the whole experience. I decided that doing the three peaks was something that people could understand and get on board with. However, I wanted to do something a bit bigger than the standard, 24-hour challenge; something that would involve more planning and commitment from me, and would neatly sidestep some of the controversies associated with the challenge. I wanted to walk the whole way. In this blog, you can read how I went about it.

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