STAFF from a Poole engineering company challenged themselves to scale three mountains in 24 hours – and made it with just 10 minutes to spare.
The team of eight from Bourne Construction Engineering Ltd, tackled the National Three Peaks Challenge, which involves climbing the three highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales, one after the other.
Considered one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, the Three Peaks takes in the dizzy heights of Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m).
The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft). Plus an eye-watering 462 miles of driving between the peaks.
Bourne publicity and marketing coordinator Beth Romans, was one of the determined eight, along with Nikki Barlow, Aaron Staples, Maria Hardy, Jon Piggott, Chris Moore, David Lindsay and Ben Laybourne. While Bourne directors Craig Galway and Nick Hayes acted as drivers.
Beth said: “We are all pretty adventurous people and although we all work in different areas of the business, we decided to do something really challenging together.
“One of our team, Chris Moore is a big supporter of Dorset Cancer Care Foundation and when he told us how much it does to help people from Dorset who have cancer and their families, we decided to use the challenge to raise as much money as we could for this great cause.”
The first leg of the team’s trek was the 566-mile drive from the Bourne HQ in Poole to Fort William, Scotland.
Beth said: “We started climbing Ben Nevis just after 6pm. We were expecting rain and thunderstorms, but it was beautiful sunshine, making the views even more spectacular.
“However, climbing Ben Nevis felt never ending. Every time we thought we were almost at the peak we’d go around a corner and realise there was so much further to go!”
She continued: “We finished in the dark which was great experience but slightly tricky, especially with our ‘jelly legs’.”
“At that point I think we all felt like there was no way we could climb another mountain, let alone two. But we all ate and tried sleeping during the six-hour van journey to Scafell Pike.”
Scafell is a shorter climb than Ben Nevis, but much steeper.
“Everyone was really starting to feel the burn now and our knees were aching,” said Beth.
“The descent was even tougher and conversation was at a minimum as everyone concentrated on just getting back to the bus. With 10 minutes to spare we had made it, it was such a great feeling.”
Beth said the journey from Scafell to Snowdon was probably the “lowest point” of the challenge.
“Lack of sleep had really started to catch up on everyone and we were all craving food that wasn’t pasta!”
Climbing Snowdon began well but the team soon found the going much steeper and even had to use their hands in places to pull themselves up.
“When we made it to the peak it was an incredible feeling,” said Beth.
“Snowdon had the best views of all with mountains and lakes to one side.
“But it wasn’t over and heading back down Snowdon was for most the toughest part of the challenge, with the steep section very painful on our achy knees and our energy levels at rock bottom.
“Arriving back at the minibus for the last time was such a relief and we were all very proud of each other, especially when we realised we had completed the challenge with just 10 minutes to go before the 24-hour deadline.”
Beth continued: “We began the walk as a group of colleagues, all from separate departments who had spoken very little to each other. But we finished the challenge as friends and raised over £1100 of which we are extremely proud.”
Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) was set up in 2012 to help ease the financial burdens of people fighting cancer.
The charity fundraises to give grants for everything from transport to and from hospital, to household bills and prosthetic bras and swimsuits.
Eve Went, a founder of DCCF, said: “We are in awe of what this group of people achieved and truly thankful that they decided to do it for DCCF. Their courage, determination and sheer grit will help many local people who are facing their own battle against cancer.”
Update: All 8 members of the team made it to the third and final peak, Snowdon, with 10 minutes to spare! What an acheivement – heartfelt thanks and admiration from all at DCCF!
We are delighted to announce that the Bourne 3 peaks challenge team have raised a fantastic £1,113!
Massive thanks to Maria Hardy, Chris Moore, Beth Romans, Jon Piggott, Nikki Barlow, Ben Laybourne, Aaron Staples and David Lindsay
We are delighted to announce that our supporters The Bourne Group have a team of 8 colleagues tackling the 3-peaks challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) starting on Friday 8th June on behalf of DCCF: