The goal I set for myself in order to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research was the Three Peaks Challenge. This involves climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales within 24 hours, with the addition of a 24 kilo pack on my back! I opted to add the weight to the challenge because, as many of you know, I love doing outdoor and adventurous activities and have wanted to do the Three Peaks for a while, just for fun! So I wanted something that would make this outing considerably less fun and genuinely difficult to accomplish/endure, in the hope that you wonderful, generous people would sponsor me more because of it.
The ordeal began early on the Saturday morning at the base of Ben Nevis in Scotland, where I started the incredibly long ascent to the cold summit at 1344m, before immediately returning to the base and driving straight to the Lake District in England. There I climbed the very steep 978m rocky peak of Scafell Pike and descended in the dark of night. Next there was the drive through the night to Wales for the final peak. The 1085m Snowdon trek started at first light, up the long, stepped and arduous Llanberis path. Once at the top there was little time to savour or celebrate, as the challenge was not completed until I got back to the bottom within the 24 hour target.
The average up and down times for each peak is 7, 5 and 6 hours respectively. The driving distance in between peaks is more than 450 miles, much of which isn't on motorways and takes a minimum of 10 hours without breaking speed limits - as the challenge dictates - so completing this 28 hour journey within 24 hours really is a challenge, as indeed many who attempt it do not quite make it in time.
The total distance I walked on this mountain marathon is in excess of 27 miles, with a total climb of 3000m, without forgetting the 3000m back downhill - which is just as hard....especially with the 24 kilos of weight I was lugging on my back like a mountain mule. I managed to complete the challenge in 22hours 45minutes, with the full weight for all three peaks, although I swear it got heavier the longer I carried it! Ben Nevis took me 5.5hours, Scafell Pike 3.5hours and Snowdon 4hours. There was one extremely steep, loose rocky section near the top of Snowdon that I swear is the hardest thing I have ever done....I was absolutely exhausted once I reached the top, and even more so once I had returned to the bottom.
I did this challenge in memory of Janet Young, my auntie, an amazing and much loved woman who died at the age of 38 from Leukaemia. Please give whatever you can to support the exceptional work that Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research do.....
I completed this challenge alongside a group doing the traditional Three Peaks Challenge. It has been superbly organised by Jonathan and Beverly Bignall, with Jonathan also taking part and Beverly kindly taking on the unglamorous but essential role of driving the team minibus. The group are also raising money for Cancer Research UK and Wild Futures, in memory of Pamela Kean who passed away last year from breast cancer at the age of 43. To donate to these charities and support the team who supported me, please visit;
I was extremely glad to have accomplished this challenge, and am hugely grateful to you all for your support and encouragement throughout, thank you.