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Sophie Gent, Three Peaks Challange 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014  ‹ Back To Latest News List

 

 

 

Sophie Gent, SyncThermologys managing director took part in the Three Peaks Challenge last weekend to raise a bit of money for some of her favourite causes. The National Three Peaks Challenge is a well known phrase amongst the more adventurous. This challenge involves walking the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. Sophie and her partner Carles decided to give it a crack.

"I have wanted to complete the 3 peaks challenge for a few years but never got around to doing it. My other half is in the forces and enjoys putting himself through gruelling tasks so we decided to do it together along with our pal Ricky who was raising money for a charity trip to Ecuador. The weather was pretty terrible considering we have had such a nice few weeks of sunshine but that didn't put us off too much. 

Anyone who knows me understands that my diary planning can get quite frantic and typically of me I had somehow managed to plan a week of veterinary meetings that stretched 1200miles across the UK before I even got to Scotland...On Friday afternoon we drove the 6 hour journey up to Fort William, I got my tent out and unfortunately I forgot to pack the ground sheet..... This resulted with a night in the back of the Land Rover for me and Carles. Carles has meticulous military skills and packs with perfection so as you can imagine that was very annoying start for him, ooops! We decided that the best thing for it was to head down to the local pub (The Grog & Gruel), grab a pint and some grub and get an early night. It turned out that Carles was longer than the space in the back of the Land Rover so it was a sleepless night right before our 24hour challenge...

Saturday Morning;

We woke up at 7am, turned the Land Rover back into a car, grabbed some breakfast and we were off. Typically the fog was down, we couldn't see a thing and it was raining. It took us just under 2 hours 45 minutes to reach the summit of Ben Nevis. We got to the top, grabbed a quick picture along with a face full of Granny`s hikers cake and we were speeding back down. I am thinking about retailing Granny Noels amazing hiker’s cake but I am sure it would lead the nation to early heart disease. With 2 blocks of butter, unlimited syrup and packed with dried fruit, digestive biscuits and covered in chocolate it gave us lots of energy.

We got down Ben Nevis took our boots off and we were on route to Scafell Pike in the Lake District. The drive took 5 hours. In my head this was the short, sharp, painful mountain that we were going to tackle. Within the first 10 minutes I was struggling and couldn't catch my breath as Scafell goes straight into steep assent.  There was a bit of swearing on my part but to my annoyance Carles hadn't even broken a sweat...so I had to dig deep and crack on. I eventually found my rhythm and we made it in good time to the summit- 1h 45minutes. Scafell is rough terrain and it was made worse as we could not see further than 20 meters in front. Again we got the camera out, took the picture and ate some cake.... The rain by this point was hideous, everything was slippery and now it was pitch black. I felt very sorry for the guys that were making their way up, everyone looking miserable and asking how long to the top... we decided to inspire them and tell a porkie, only 20 minutes.....

By the time we reached the bottom it was 11pm we were soaked wet through along with my phone. My phone was the only injury up Scafell and unfortunately it has not come back on so it is now sitting in a bag of silica gel to try and salvage the photographic evidence. On to Snowdon and the drive took us 4hours 30 minutes. Irritatingly my sat nav decided to have a tantrum and it sent us up Hardknott pass, which put us back 1 hour and put the pressure on to complete Snowdon in a quick time.

Sunday Morning:

We arrived at Snowdon at 3:30am, dawn was creeping in and there was no time to relax. During the journey both myself and Ricky started to feel nauseous. At first we blamed the meatball sub we had just eaten but quite quickly we realised that a bit of exhaustion was setting in. We couldn't even stomach the hiker’s cake... I felt awful at the start of Snowdon but I gave myself a talking to and put my best foot forward. It was a slog up Miners Pass but the weather was holding out for us. We got to the summit at 6am, 2hours  20 minutes of climbing and the sun came out for us. I was so pleased that we had done it but then I quickly got reminded that we had to make it down within the 24 hours.

We got down on to the flat of Snowdon and it was a good 40 minute walk back to the car park. The guys soldiered on in front of me as they wanted the best time possible. My legs didn't move as fast as theirs so I knew I was going to get a slower time but then I got a little competitive voice in my head that said they were going to beat me..... Well that was it; I picked up my walking sticks and legged it down the hill to the car park.... I made it in at the same time 23h 41min. I wouldn't have lived it down!

The experience was tough but it was also one of the best things I have done. It really did show me that whatever you put your mind to you CAN achieve. Anyway my legs seized up almost immediately after I got in the car to drive the long journey home. We pulled in at Carles parents in Llangollen for a shower and a nap and we were greeted by lots of family. We even got a free breakfast!

I am still over the moon that I succeeded and I am looking forward to the next challenge. We raised over £400 for charity and Ricky raised enough to get him to Ecuador.  I am in recovery this week and I have just got back from a painful trip to my osteopath.....

The next day we scratched out heads at how on earth the three of us put weight on after doing the Three Peaks?? Well there was only one culprit; we still have a small supply of Granny Noels hiker’s cake and can’t bear to throw it away.

Great experience and I am looking forward to organising SyncThermology's team challenge next year!"