Sunday 23rd June 2002, the day has arrived, the day nine colleagues set out to attempt the national three peaks challenge
and to complete the it within 24 hours. Its quarter past 4 and the minibus pulls onto the cobbles at the front of the castle.
With some careful loading, the lads kit is thrown, squashed and bundled into the minibus.
They arrived at the llanberis pass car park at approximately 8 oclock. The weather was perfect and as they piled out
of the minibus the smell of the mountain air hit everyone.
A quick photo session, the stopwatch set and they were off.
Snowdon was completed in fine conditions although the summit was in cloud and quite cold.
The decent was magnificent, to watch the sun go down and see the moonlight dancing across the Llyn Llydaw reservoir was
Wast Water in the Lake District was very eerie at half past 3 in the morning as they began their ascent of Skafell. Again
the weather was perfect except for some cloud cover at about 2000 ft. They split into two groups going different routes up
to the summit.
It was very cloudy and misty and they couldnt see for more then 40 yds.
One of the groups couldnt believe their eyes, as there were hundreds of people hurtling towards them. Trust Stuarts luck
to have picked the same day as the national 3 peaks race.
After a long drive up to Glen Nevis, they arrived to see the Glen awash with a white mist. The rain was hurtling down
and they knew they were in for a soaking.
Tired and stiff (in all the wrong places) they piled out of the bus to don waterproofs, boots and check they had warmer
kit for the summit.
The third and last mountain was now before them, the only problem being that it was the tallest and hardest of the three.
They were by this time tired and fed up of eating pot noodles, which apparently is the staple diet of brave mountaineers.
Have you ever experienced the feelings of confusion, nausea and weakness, knowing whats got to be done, but not having
the strength to do it. Well these were all the feelings that the lads were going through, but still they pushed on and finally
they reached the summit of Ben Nevis.
Now came the decent. With their second wind found and the adrenalin flowing they made superb progress.
Stuart and Nick, who had broken away from the group, neared the finishing line that was a bridge, a lovely sight came
into view, that of Paul, Tony and Rowena. This appeared lovely probably due to the immense fatigue they were all experiencing.
The castle three peaks groupies stood on the edge of the bridge cheering words of encouragement.
Tired but pumped up full of adrenaline Nick and Stuart ran towards them hoping to complete the challenge in a respectable
Well done lads came the cheer, as Stuart stopped the clock to reveal a time of 22 hours, 45 mins & 33secs. Billy
J was the third man home shortly after.
Then came a very anxious wait as the clock was still running with Andy, Mick and Shaun still out there on the rough terrain.
The 24hrs would be up at 8 oclock. But with gutsy determination the three made it with 16 minutes to spare.
Cans of Guinness were cracked open and Andy still had the presents of mind to ask if it was gluten free.
Stuart would just like to say well done to all who took part and thanks to all who gave to the charities involved.