From the 13th to the 15th of June 2019; a YRP team of 4 members (Blair Hutchison, Johan Sonesson, Oliver Craig and Wendy Hahlani) participated in the ‘Three Peaks Challenge by Rail’ with the aim to raise money and awareness for the Railway Children Charity (https://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/) who work to help Children in the UK, India and East Africa who are forced to live on the streets through no fault of their own.
The challenge consisted of 44 teams from across the industry climbing the three highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland, over difficult terrain and some very unkind weather conditions. Starting with Snowdon at 22:00 – imagine darkness, persistent rain with the occasional ghastly wind here and there and you will go some way to understanding what the teams were facing that first night! These unfavourable conditions saw a number of the teams turn back before reaching the summit (understandably so) however the YRP team was able to preserver!
After just about making it down Snowdon and getting the coach back to the train; it was time to head to Scafell Pike to start the 4 mile trek over some boggy (but breath taking) terrain, on barely any sleep on a bid to get to the base of the mountain. Scafell was probably one of the harder climbs however records were broken due to the promise of a pub visit and potential showers in the village for those who managed to make it back with sufficient time.
A 5am start saw the teams with their aching limbs at Fort William ready to scale Ben Nevis. Though tired, the atmosphere was buzzing. Even those with injuries were ready to give every ounce of energy they had left to try and make it up this one last mountain. Amazing does not begin to explain the feeling when everyone made it up Ben Nevis (mostly) intact!
The charity estimates that at the point the challenge was completed, £227,130 had been raised and the total may still have risen. What a life affirming experience for such a worthy cause. If you also want to support the Railway Children then please visit their website and donate or participate in their future challenges!