In February last year, friends Jordan Phillips, Luke Sills and Tom Ward were devastated by the loss of their friend Adam Dearnley. Aged just 26, Adam lost his life to SADS (Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome) without any prior cardiac issues. C.R.Y supported the family and trio of friends following the bereavement, and this year, the friends decided to take on a challenge to raise funds in Adam’s memory.
The National Three Peaks Challenge is one of the toughest challenges going. It involves climbing the highest peaks in Scotland, England, and Wales all within 24 hours, the catch being that the driving time is included in the total time too. The challenge consists of over 10,000ft of ascent, 23 miles of walking and over 450 miles of driving – no mean feat. Jordan and Luke trained for 6 months to be ready for the physicality of the challenge, aptly supported by Tom who handled all the driving.
The challenge started in Scotland with Ben Nevis, the tallest of the three mountains, at 1345m. They started at midday and had a target time of just 5 hours to complete the hike, a tall-ask when the average time to tackle the mountain is between 7 and 8 hours. They managed it in 5 hours 15 minutes in really challenging heat conditions, but despite that, there was still some snow on the summit.
The team then hot-footed it down to the Lake District for an overnight ascent of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978m. Beginning at 11pm the pair began their ascent with a target time of 4 hours. It was a cloudless sky, so much so that they didn’t use their headtorches and instead navigated by moonlight, completing the mountain dead on 4 hours.
The final mountain was Snowdon in Wales, standing at 1085m. There was a 5-hour target time, but by now they were starting to struggle with the fatigue of their knees and calves. The pair stormed to the top, summiting in 2 hours 15 minutes, but the descent was slow and painful. In the end, they crossed the line after 23 hours 40 minutes, leaving just 20 minutes to spare.
Jordan, Luke, and Tom celebrated with some fizz at the finish line and the obligatory giant cheque photo. On completing the challenge, Jordan said “That was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t think it would be that tough!”. Luke agreed, adding “The 3 peaks challenge lived up to its name – it was a challenge. However, knowing that we had already raised so much money was the motivation we needed to keep pushing to the finish line. The money will go towards helping so many people’s lives which makes every one of the 60,000 steps worth it!”. Tom didn’t get away lightly either, saying “I thought the driving was supposed to be the easy part, but I was very wrong. I ended up getting just two hours sleep while they climbed Scafell Pike, so I relied heavily on copious amounts of coffee!” In total, the friends have raised over £5,000 for C.R.Y in Adam’s name.