Three Peaks Challenge

Spiderman, High-Vis vests and the highest peak in Wales – just your average bank holiday…

Team Rothley embarked on our second serious hike in preparation of our 3 Peaks Challenge raising funds for Headway Birmingham & Solihull by taking on one of the peaks – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), on May Day. In stark contrast to the practically arctic conditions during our last hike, we were treated to a bank holiday bathed in long overdue sunshine as we set off from the midlands to North Wales.

We travelled via Telford, which will be our official rendezvous point on challenge day to collect other team members and more importantly took the opportunity to meet the latest member of the Court of Protection team AKA Lucy’s new cat – Freddie.  Before long we were off the motorway and heading deep into North Wales which proved to be a valuable training exercise itself, noting the narrow roads and traffic which included coaches and motorhomes which will need to be contended with on challenge day, as well as noting the toilet stops available, and indeed the ones to avoid!  The Welsh countryside needs no description and the beauty of the scenery was reflected with the amount of “ooooo’s” “wow’s” and “Aww look lambs” which continuously interjected the somewhat suspect playlist that Sophie had curated.

We arrived at Pen Y Pass car park just after 10am and set off for the summit via the Miners’ Track.  The Miners’ Track is one of two paths beginning at Pen y Pass, and slightly longer by comparison to the Pyg track, which is the most rugged and challenging route to the summit.   The Miners’ Track was initially built to serve the Britannia Copper Mine and remains of the mine can be seen along the route including the crushing mill and some of the miner’s barracks. The track took us along the shores of Llyn Teyrn, Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn before ascending steeply, which quickly established itself as the “no-talk-zone” to where it meets the Pyg track.  A slightly longer than expected further climb took us to what is referred to on Strava as the “Stone Stairway of torture” – however, we encouraged each other along and soon reached the intersection with the Llanberis Path and we could see the summit poking through the clouds only a short distance away.

It was at this point that we met Spiderman.  Yes, Spidey himself, or given we are Lawyers its more appropriate to say; a gentleman purporting to be Spiderman, was making his way back down Snowdon for the 75th time since January as part of his 100 Snowdon climbs in aid of his chosen charity.  Our amusement at meeting this real-life-comic book hero in the clouds of Snowdon was only surpassed by the expression on Josh’s face who, after having battled the most challenging part of the climb with the remnants of Saturday’s beers still working their way round his system, had caught up with the group, and on meeting Spiderman, wasn’t sure whether he had made it up the stone stairway or passed out along the way!

A small scramble further and we reached the summit in a very respectable 2 hours and 6 minutes.  Given that it was a bank holiday and as we wouldn’t have the chance on challenge day, we stopped the timers and took the opportunity to lunch and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding areas.  Despite the idyllic vistas, the best view of the day was the quintessentially British queue of hikers patiently waiting in turn for a photo at the summit trig point.  Once the queue subsided we took our obligatory summit photos, restarted timers and started our descent.

We soon made our way back to the flat paths along the lakes, thankfully without any falls or injury, and knowing we had plenty of time to make the finish before our target time, we enjoyed the rest of the walk back making the most of the sun and fine weather and an opportunity to discuss non-work things such as family, interests and whether Andriy had decided if he was having a Chinese takeaway or a curry when he got home.

Snowdon Miners’ track is a total of 13km with a guide time of 6 hours. For the challenge the target time is 4 hours and we managed to complete the route in 3 hours 52 min.

Before heading back home, the literal highlight of the day was an opportunity for Rebecca to don her high-vis vest (or rather we insisted she must) as she handed out plasters and supplies.  Although perfectly reasonable, moreover essential, and with concern for everyone’s welfare and safety at heart, we had deemed this far too sensible and Rebecca had to endure a fair share of ribbing during the hike, therefore if nothing else, the donning of the high-vis made the extra luggage worthwhile and should at least keep the insurers happy.

We were delighted with our training day and now go into the challenge with a greater understanding of the physical demands of one of the peaks, and the confidence that we can tackle this part of the challenge within the target time, if not faster.

We are looking to expand our training across the summer with more hikes and a night-walk, as well as some exciting fundraising events which we look forward to sharing with you.

You can support our fundraising for Headway Birmingham & Solihull by donating to this very worthy cause via our GoFundMe page below:

P.S The answer was Chinese.

#RothleyLaw #NationalThreePeaksChallenge #HeadwayBirminghamandSolihull #fundraising

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