Sunday 17 July
14:00ish What a way to spend my wedding anniversary. Dave is thrashing the van down the M6 in a desperate battle to get to Llanberis and avoid being pulled out of the challenge. It feels strangely motivating. Dave also seems to take a proactive approach to sheep on the road and seems to move them much better than the dogs are.
16:50 We arrive in Llanberis and have decided that 5 of the original 7 will continue and attempt at least the ascent in the target time. Rik is already out, and I join him as an official retiree. Dave joins the 5, now that he has finished driving and support duties. But you know what, having decided to pull out, I feel ok and it’s a lovely clear blue sky and quite warm. I’m not going to sit around for the next few hours. Alan, our other driver, also wants to stretch his legs, so he and I set off for a short stroll up the mountain in the wake of the main team.
17:07 The main team of 5 plus Dave are racing ahead, unencumbered by the two cripples. Alan and I, doing it for “fun” follow at a more leisurely pace. But we keep the others in sight, no more than 5 to 10 minutes ahead of us. That’s partly because, now being out of the event, there’s no one checking my kit to make sure I’m carrying full arctic kit and a mobile field hospital. The weather is so warm, clear and settled that for this afternoon stroll, I’ve dumped much of the kit and am heading up the mountain in shorts with a drink and only the most basic and essential bad weather and emergency kit.
18:40 Alan and I have reached the slope that leads to Clogwyn station at about 700m and we decide that we need to turn back to arrive at the bottomn ready for the others’ return. It’s a bit of a shame as at one point I even thought we were gaining on the others and another hour will do it. We can see quite clearly how much we would have left to do. I’ve not felt this good, physically, the whole weekend. But we don’t have the time. We head down. And anyway, I’ve been to the summit before, by train.
20:15 We arrive back at the hotel. I track down Rik and check-in and after a weekend of solid walking am really happy (not) to find my room at the end of the world’s longest corridor (or so it seems). I shower and go to meet the others.
21:15 Just as I’m walking down to meet the others I see them walking towards the hotel, having just finished.
21:45 We’re all getting stuck into the party. Or more accurately, we’re in the same room as the party. After dinner is the prize-giving. Brett from our team gets a special award for litter collection, principally on Ben Nevis, although he kept it up on all 3 mountains. We end up second to last, but only narrowly escape last place by 1 minute with a time of over 27 hours. We’re all glad to have finished, but no one has the inclination to party. This isn’t helped by the fact that this is a challenge for the IT industry so there is, let’s say, a slight imbalance in the genders of the participants.
23:00 I can’t stay up any longer and so it’s bed time.