Twelve Sixth Form students and three members of staff from Writhlington School and Mendip Studio School took in the National 24-hour Three Peaks Challenge this weekend smashing their target time and fundraising goal to raise money for England & Wales Mountain Rescue.
The students have taken part in numerous outdoor pursuits during their time at school including expeditions to France, Mexico, Africa, Iceland, The Lake District and the Scottish Mountains and so they decided they wanted to give a something back to the people who keep the mountains safe for adventurers like themselves.
The team set off at 11am on Friday, taking on their first mountain, Snowdon, in the heart of Wales. A tremendous effort saw students complete it in just 3 hours, a saving grace as they hit stand-still traffic in Cheshire, knocking them off schedule.
Their second Peak, Scafell Pike in the Lake District proved to be the toughest, not only were they challenged with walking through the night but visibility was poor and students and staff found themselves having to Micro Navigate most of the way up the mountain. After some exceptional teamwork and navigation, the team reached the summit at 22.08pm.
Year 13 student, Will Holmes said:
“The Three Peaks Challenge was an amazing experience, it was harder than 45 miles Ten Tors challenge but because of our teamwork and support from our dedicated teachers it was exhilarating to finish just within our 24 hour target. We have spent so much time in the mountains, on Dartmoor and other difficult terrains that we are delighted that we are going to be able to donate to England & Wales Mountain Rescue”
Driving through the night the team arrived at the foot of Ben Nevis, their final challenge, with just 5 hours to reach the summit and scale back down. In a tremendous effort they made it to the summit by 9am but that left them only 2 hours to get back down almost 1300m to the finish point. In two teams they set off running to make sure they did their sponsors proud.
The first team finished with 31 minutes to spare and in a most impressive dash the second team managed to descend with just 5 minutes to spare.
Head of Sixth Form, Mark Bridges, said
“I couldn’t have been more proud of our students. It’s an amazing achievement and really showcases their drive, determination and resilience. Every students overcame their own personal grievances over the 24 hours, from blisters to asthma and aching muscles.
I really believe it is activities and opportunities like this that a really help shape a young person. If my children turn out with half the drive and enthusiasm of these students, I will be incredibly proud.’”