This weekend was one never to be forgotten for Steve Mellor, Lee Myers, Richard Minnikin and Kevin Traill from the Borders Barmy Army and our 17 brave participants as we took on the mighty national 3 peaks challenge. This involved climbing Ben Nevis, Scaffell Pike and Snowdon in the fastest time possible. As with all our other campaigns the BBA completed all 3 mountains in our trademark kilts!
All brave walkers: Karen Horsley, Richard Lindsay, Ross Lindsay, Steph McCormick, Alicja Piliszczuk, Jenny Rankine, Brian Shiel, Robert Sinclair, Kev Traill, Elaine Turnbull, Riaz Usmani, Agnes Wappler, Lesley Watson, Andrea Williams, Garry Wilson, Pete Farquhar, Chris Eadie, Steve Mellor, Lee Myers, Rich Minnikin
At 1pm on Saturday David Johnson from BSLT officially started the event at Borders Sports and Leisure trust Tweedbank sports complex and we were driven by Telfords of Newcastleton to Fort William where we would face the first stage of our challenge, the mighty Ben Nevis.
David also set a second challenge and presented each of the BBA members with an egg. We were then tasked with carrying our eggs up and down each mountain and returning them to him unbroken, which we did!
We split into 3 small groups of similar abilities and each group was lead by a guide from Distant Horizons Ltd who are based in the Lake District. At around 6pm the stop watch started and our challenge got underway.
Ben Nevis was fantastic. It is said that there are only 60 clear nights a year and we were lucky enough to experience one. The majority of our participants took a break at the top of the summit and watched the sunset on a clear and breathtaking Fort William sky line. We then descended with head torches in the dark back down the mountain. Ben Nevis had been a tough climb for all but that was soon forgotten with the excitement of coming back down in the dark.
At around 01:30 am we left Fort William and headed to for the Lake District. After a few hours of sleep on the coach we were all ready to climb Scaffel Pike and at 9am we started the second part of our challenge from Seathwaite Farm. This mountain came with another once in a lifetime experience! As we reached the summit we were caught in a huge thunder storm. You could smell the static in the air and some people felt vibrations every time the lighting flashed, the thunder was directly above us and the rain was very heavy, we were very quickly marched back down to safety as soon as we had touched the summit. There was no time for photos and the weather continued to deteriorate.
Because of all the rain the paths we had followed up had become rivers and we had a great time on the decent walking through streams as we returned to the coach.
Within our 17 participants, 7 people made up team 1 who were codenamed Team Elite. Team Elite was lead by Garry Wilson and BSLT’s very own Pete Farquhar. Their team were determined to complete the challenge within 24 hours.
The bus drivers did a fantastic job in supporting us and got us to Snowdon ahead of time. This gave Team Elite just enough time to complete the challenge in just less than 24 hours.
We started climbing Snowden at 9pm with head torches. This was yet another fantastic experience as we climbed up the rocky misty mountain. When we reached the summit the mist lifted and the full moon lit up fantastic views. We were then faced with a difficult task of climbing back down the rocky surface as the mist continued to roll back in and after losing the path for a short while, we managed it.
This was undoubtedly one of our finest challenges yet. We are delighted to say that Team Elite completed the challenge in 23 hours 43 minutes! The BBA would like to congratulate everyone who took part in this challenge; we have been extremely impressed with the courage and determination shown by everyone to get through this once in a lifetime endurance event!
Finally we would like to say a huge thank you to our brave participants for raising funds for local Macmillan and taking part, David Johnson and Border Sport & Leisure trust for supporting the BBA through another campaign and helping the majority of participants with their training, Reiverr Embroidery for donating our banner, Distant Horizons Ltd, Telfords Coaches of Newcastleton and Slanj Ltd of Edinburgh for providing the BBA kilts with Commando flaps for this challenge and to everyone who has sponsored our participants or the Borders Barmy Army Macmillan committee throughout this campaign.
You can still sponsor us by visiting here
We are delighted to say we hope to raise £5000 for LOCAL Macmillan from this challenge.
A huge well done to everyone involved and thank you from the Borders Barmy Army Macmillan Committee.