driver recruitment specialists, driver require climb to new heights!
Voyager customer and driver recruitment specialists Driver Require recently scaled the 3 highest peaks in the UK, all for a cause close to the hearts. Find out below how they got on.
Mission Accomplished in only 23.5 hours!
It’s simple – just scale the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours (said no one…EVER!)
Our intrepid team of 8 set off for Glasgow on Friday evening and after a quick team bonding dinner we headed back to our hotel for an early night and to prepare our kit for the next 24-hour test of endurance.
THE BIG DAY DAWNS
After an early start, a hearty Scottish breakfast and a healthy dose of anticipation and excitement, we were collected by our mountain leaders from Mountain Evolution and settled ourselves and our kit in the minibus. After heading out of the city, (with a half hour set back to quickly double back to collect a forgotten mobile phone), we were finally heading for Fort William.
After a quick stop in the town for water and provisions to see us through the next 24 hours, we arrived at the foot of Ben Nevis. We exited the minibus ready to take on the highest mountain in Scotland, all 1,345 metres (4,408 feet) of it over a total of 8.5 miles.
After a quick team photo, and with our spirits nearly as high as the sun in the sky, at 1.56pm the countdown clock was activated. We were off, taking the Tourist Path through the bracken gave us a relatively easy start, but after just 40 minutes and one sprained ankle, our good humour and banter was subsiding and the reality of the challenge was beginning to sink in.
Still, Duane, our guide set a good pace and we zig-zagged our way up the mountain, through a section of fog and snow, finally reaching the peak in just under three hours. And after touching the trig point and pausing for some team photos, we began the descent. The weather and views were spectacular, and despite a thunderstorm brewing in the clouds below, we were elated and our good pace continued. Despite one lost toenail, one sprained ankle and one popped kneecap, we eventually reached the foot of the longest of the three mountains in a respectable 5 hours, 17 mins.
The Stats: Elevation: 1,345 metres (4,408 feet) / Total distance: 13.67 km (8.5 miles)
Team time to complete the Ben Nevis mission: 5 hours, 17 minutes.
SCAFELL PIKE – THE DARK SIDE
We were back in the minibus and set off on a 6-hour transfer to the Peak District. Our driver Samantha “The Stig” made exceptional progress, making up nearly 40 mins of time. We finally arrived at Wasdale Head and were out of the bus like marine commandos, despite only managing a couple of hours’ sleep, starting the next ascent at 00:35 am. Picture the scenario – summer warmth and humidity, midges, and absolute pitch blackness pocked with the luminous beam of 8 head torches, we began the ascent.
After just 15 minutes, it was apparent that the damage inflicted by Ben Nevis’s slopes had taken its toll on two of our team and they reluctantly made the brave and selfless decision to turn back to the car park so the rest of us could complete the challenge at a quicker pace.
The shattered rock, which varies in size from small stones to large boulders, is scattered over the top of the mountain and down the sides with only cairns to mark meandering, unfamiliar paths. We stumbled up the giant boulder field and reached the trig point after an unrelenting 2-hour climb over dark, desolate and treacherous terrain. Having re-named the mountain “Sc-awful Pike”, and after another quick team photo, we turned around to head back towards civilisation.
With first light silhouetting the mountains, the going was particularly tough for two of us, who found ourselves a fair way behind the mountain goats leading the team’s descent. However, through exhaustion and sleep deprived darkness, we made it back to the minibus, with time to spare and set off once again, with much trepidation, to face the next challenge.
The Stats: Elevation: 978 m (3,209 ft) / Total distance: 9.4km (5.8 miles)
Team time to complete the Scafell mission: 3 hours, 49 minutes.
SNOWDON – A PYG OF A PEAK
By now the fatigue had well and truly set in after Ben Nevis and Scafell and the atmosphere in the minibus was subdued, but we believed Snowdon was the easiest of the three. We were soon to find out that this was the wrong assumption to make.
We began the last challenge at 09.17am, taking the Pyg Track, we immediately faced steep boulders and 23-degree heat and morning sun. We plodded on aided by walking poles and words of motivation for each other, scrambling over rock faces on hands and knees, all the while side-stepping the steady stream of mountain traffic.
We reached the summit at 11:20 with a mixture of emotion – achievement and absolute exhaustion and dreading the route down, wondering if the knees and stamina would hold. A quick team photo and we were off once more on our final descent. With both poles and determination dug into the side of the mountain, we finally reached the base after a total of 4 hours 9 mins on Snowdon.
The Stats: Elevation: 723 m (2,372 ft) / Total distance: 13.0 km (7 miles)
Team time to complete the Snowdon mission: 4 hours, 9 minutes.
The Challenge clock was stopped after a total of 23 hours and 30 minutes – WE HAD DONE IT! What a feeling and what a truly remarkable challenge it had been.
We all have our own personal motives for taking part in the 3 Peaks Challenge, but as a team, we have been supporting and raising money for the British Heart Foundation. To date, we have raised a collective £3,313.00. If you enjoyed reading our story and would like to support our chosen charities, your donations would be so very greatly appreciated, just click here for the Team’s Just Giving page
The Three Peaks Challenge has been the most physically demanding challenge most of us have ever endured. The emotions and exhaustion of climbing the 3 highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours is enough but added to that the lack of sleep dragging yourself out of a cramped minibus in the dark, in the early hours of the morning to climb yet another mountain, was the true test of grit, determination, stamina, and teamwork. Would we do it again? Ask us again next week!
A special thanks to Driver Require for allowing us to share their article.