started our challenge at the base of Ben Nevis at 1615hrs in early
May having travelled up from West Yorkshire by car.
decision to start at this time was to enable travelling to Scafell
Pike in lighter night time traffic and ensure that walking in darkness
was kept to the minimum. The weather was kind throughout and helped in
facilitating our successful mission.
had the summit of Ben Nevis to ourselves on reaching it at
1945hrs. With all that was at stake,care had to be exercised in not
spending too much time taking pictures and enjoying the snow.
We had debated whether or not to take crampons with us as snow was
down to 3500 feet. Our decision not to take them proved right as we
were able to descend off the snow before it began to freeze. We
had met people coming down as we went up, but no one was met as we
travelled back down. The journey back to the base seemed never ending,
but after a hasty change of gear we left for Scafell Pike at 2200hrs.
uneventful journey ensured that good progress was made and the
accent of Scafell Pike began in darkness at 1545hrs. The time of year
meant that sunrise was early and torches were no longer needed after
one hours progress.
Pike is a slog at the best of times and
is no easier in the early hours of the morning after no
sleep and having driven the three hours prior to the start. I began to
wonder how on earth I ever got
myself into attempting such a challenge, but my
weary limbs began to loosen up after a slow start and spurred on by all
that was at stake
and knowing that Colin would be feeling much worse than me, as he
been able to eat anything since breakfast the previous day, we began to
make progress. I shall never forget that moment when we saw the sun
rise on approaching the summit, the pleasure of which spurred me on no
end. We continued down and part two of our mission was completed with
our return to the car at 0830hrs. It was
the first time I had travelled up and down Scafell Pike and not seen
one single soul. Now came the time for potential hazards on a journey
at this time of
day, but by the time the motorway was reached, the heaviest of the
traffic had gone and the motorway aided our progress. Only one small
hold-up for roadworks had caused any anxiety and the starting point for
Snowdon was reached at 1220hrs.
found new reserves of energy at this stage and his quickening
pace along the Pyg Track did much to encourage my ageing, tiring limbs.
Many were met who saw our shirts em blazed with our mission and stopped
to ask about it. Snowdon looked an eternity away as we strode above
Glaslyn, fueling my concerns of reaching our deadline. The top of
Snowdon was eventually reached and with no time for Colin to continue
chatting up that girl, we pressed on. After all there was a lot hanging
on our success. Yes, £8000.00, most of which had been raised
by my much
goal was reached with just 25 minutes to spare. Would I do it
again, probably not. Too
old now, but it gave
tremendous satisfaction, knowing I had been a small part of Colin's
grateful thanks to all those who contributed so magnificently
to Hearing Dogs