Miss Kasza-Martin completes Three Peaks Challenge

Elmhurst School for Boys

5th May 2017 | Key Stage 1

Last weekend, in only 24 hours, a group of close friends and I hiked and climbed, to the top of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales. This was challenge four out of the twelve challenges I am planning to complete this year (https://twelve12challenge.wordpress.com). I have embarked on the twelve challenges in an attempt to raise £12,000 to support the work of the exceptional Royal Marsden and to honour the memory of my grandad and godfather – Edward Martin and Lawrence Werth. 

The Three Peaks Challenge is the most physically enduring challenge I have ever put this poor body of mine through. The emotions and exhaustion of the climb is enough to make your mind boggle, but its the lack of sleep and having to drag your body out of a cramped people carrier at 3am to climb yet another mountain that personally, I found almost impossible.

The Challenge
We began in the cold, dark and early hours of Saturday morning. At 4am we buckled up and began the nine hour drive to the base of Ben Nevis. This was the first of many obstacles to overcome. We managed to arrive safely at 3pm but the feeling of safety did not last. Despite everybody starting the hike in high spirits, we soon became heavy eyed, sleep deprived and physically exhausted and we felt abandoned on the mountains. At the top of Ben Nevis we became engrossed in a snow storm. I became separated from my group – the low visibility and bitter cold made searching for my friends painfully difficult. After a short time, I was reunited with the team and eventually we reached the top. The journey down was equally as difficult, with the beginning of the decent covered in over a foot of snow, it became a matter of sliding down rather than walking. 

Once we reached the bottom of Ben Nevis, it was a race to reach the Lake District. We had a 5 hour drive through the night and on unfamiliar roads. We reached the base of Scafell Pike at 3am and began our second climb. In the twilight hours, we became lost again, with only a head torch to guide us through the sharp wind and thick darkness. Very little could have prepared me for the relentlessness of Scafell Pike. After climbing sheer rock faces with our tired hands and feet for over 2 hours, we reached what we thought was the last shingled steep incline. For miles we climbed and still we could not grasp the end. It is clear to understand how quickly our journey descended from fight to flounder. After a demanding hike, we reached the top for the sunrise and suddenly all the pain became worth it. The decent from the peak, in comparison, was a plain sailing, with the sunlight revealing the beauty of the surrounding mountain range. 

We then had to drive from the Lake District to North Wales, with bank holiday traffic not on our side. As we finally pulled into the car park at the foot of Snowdon, we realised there was only 1 hour 30 minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately now virtually impossible, the fitter team members took off at full sprint, determined to make the target. We raced to the top, battling crowds of people. The feeling of accomplishment when the team reached the top was overwhelming. 

24 hours, 1200 miles on the road, 40km hiking - we willed and battled our bodies to keep moving. One foot in front of the other, every step drawing us ever closer to our target. The Three Peaks Challenge was an incredible experience. You learn to push your body and challenge your mind. The emotions of fear, determination and relentlessness take hold of your body in a way that your mind starts going against everything it knows.

With every stride and stumble, I kept memories of my godfather and grandfather in my mind. Despite the sleeplessness, the aching feet and wind burn – our struggle became one of triumph and success. 

We completed the challenge and collectively raised over £1000 between us (which has been added to the ongoing total) and our feet are just about recovered (apart from a lost toe nail!).

Now, I have only £8000 to raise and eight challenges to complete. This experience has reinvigorated my resolve to meet my target and if you feel you would like to help me on my journey and support my endeavor, please visit my JustGiving page at the link below: 

Click here to view the pictures of Three Peak Challenge


Miss Kasza-Martin

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