Sunday, August 12, 2018

United Kingdom Three Peaks Challenge - August 7,8,& 9, 2018

Highest Peaks in Scotland, England & Wales of the United Kingdom

 Nine Around the Bend Friends club members went far and wide to hike last week. All the way across the pond to our old friend, the United Kingdom. There's such a thing as the "Three Peaks Challenge" where hikers attempt to climb the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales all in one day. Our hikers made the somewhat more rational attempt to climb the three peaks in three days. Brian D. (L) coordinated the trip bringing along with him: (L-R) Jerry & Cheryl T., Maria V., Rosi & Laszlo H., Setsuko S., Rita C. and Mike OC. All hikers are very strong and had trained to meet the challenge.

Ben Nevis, Scotland, UK
The Team of Nine at Ben Nevis Trailhead

Poor Conditions on Ben Nevis
Nine Three Peaks hikers from the club assembled late afternoon on Monday Aug 6th at Glasgow. We were driven up to near Fort William, past Loch Lomond, to spend the night in a traditional ‘bunkhouse’. Breakfast was early so we would have time to ascend Ben Nevis and drive several hours to the next peak. The weather was overcast and blustery to start the hike, but then as we ascended into the clouds we were in heavy rain and wind. Unfortunately, about ¾ of the way up one of our number had a problem with balance and the cold, and the guide made the tough decision for us to turn around. He said the wind, cold, rain and cliff exposure would only get worse on the next section and he had safety concerns. Naturally we were all disappointed, but had committed to follow his instructions and were supportive of our colleague.

Ben Nevis Elevation (One Way)

Ben Nevis Track

Well Deserved Meal - Greens at Gretna
 Scafell Pike, England, UK
Starting up Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike Summit in Rain
 After a fairly long drive, we stayed the night in Gretna, of Gretna Green fame, in a nice hotel and had a welcome dinner together. Another early start had us being driven a couple of hours to Wasdale and the start of the Scafell Pike climb. We started around 0800, with rain forecast around 0900…and it did. The first part of the hike across grass was lovely, but once the rain started and we moved up into the wind and clouds again, it got pretty brutal. The hiking was not difficult, but the weather was appalling. However, we made the peak and started descending pretty quickly thereafter. Regardless of the quality of our water-proofs, most of us still got very wet. Needless to say, we did not eat our lunch until back at the minibus. However, we were all glad to make the summit this time. That night we stayed in Oswestry, after a few hours of driving, in a city-center, old, four-star hotel. The forecast for the next day was good…if only we could dry out our boots and the rest of our gear!

Scafell Pike Elevation (One Way)

Scafell Pike Track
Snowdon, Wales, UK
Climbing Snowdon in Better Weather

Snowdon Summit with All Smiles
A couple of hours driving in the sunshine the next morning brought us to the Snowdon Pyg trailhead. This hike was as we wished the whole trip could have been, with nice temperatures, gorgeous scenery we could actually see, and a lovely trail. After summitting, we ambled down the longer, but easier Walking Trail next to the railway that shuttles folks up and down. It was a great final day, but we had earned it.

Brian Dodd

Snowdon Elevation (Up Pyg & Down Easy Route)

Snowdon Track

Ice Cream for Everyone!


Las Vegas Cockapoo said...

If others are interested in doing something similar we can recommend the company that organized our trip:

Brian D.

Las Vegas Cockapoo said...

Thank you both for the presentation on the blog. I enjoyed it.

Las Vegas Cockapoo said...

Hey Kay — nice job on the UK triple blog. Love the Google Earth shot of the three sites. It puts that 20 hours of drive time into better perspective. Mike OC