The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales, and Scotland within 24 hours. This is what Guy Groves, Ben Ward, Ed Cauldwell, and James Latter set out to do while awaiting their exam results. Despite their van breaking down on the M6, setting them back three hours, the group completed the challenge in 23 hours and 56 minutes.
On a Wednesday afternoon they set off on their first task: scaling 1,345 metres to the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland.
“We started up Ben Nevis around 5.30pm,” said James.
“When we made it to where the clouds and fog had restricted visibility we met another group doing the same challenge. We spoke in passing and realised we still had quite a long way to go!”
The group completed their climb in 4 hours 20 minutes and quickly turned their attention to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, Cumbria. Andrew Groves, a Harper Adams graduate, drove the van and they were ready to start their next part of the challenge by 3.10am.
James said: “With very poor visibility, and possibly all of us still being sleepy, we missed the path along the river. We found it again using maps and phones. I think we all found Scafell the hardest climb. The mass of steps proved a problem on the way back down and caused a few slips, but we managed to complete in just over three- and- a- half hours.”
Disaster struck on the way to Snowdon in Wales when the van broke down on the motorway. The group was stranded on the hard shoulder for three hours until another pal from Shrewsbury was able to pick them up.
“By this time it was looking impossible, but once we got going again it became more apparent that it was possible, just. We decided to give it a go,” explained James.
“The satnav confirmed that we would have just over three hours to do it in, which was going to be hard as we did it in three-and-a-half on our training run. As we came into the car park we had our boots on ready to go.
““With regular clock checks we kept pushing hard, running wherever we could. We made it back with four minutes to spare. I couldn’t quite believe we had done it, but we had.”
Pictured from left to right are James Latter, Guy Groves, Ben Ward, Andrew Groves and Ed Caudwell.