Cripps Pemberton Greenish conquers the Three Peaks
Last weekend an intrepid team of thirteen Cripps Pemberton Greenish mountaineers completed the Three Peaks Challenge, successfully climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in aid of Rethink Mental Illness.
The trip was organised by senior associate Helen Fisher and trainee solicitor Tom Bushell, who describes his experiences below:
Ben Nevis (1,345m)
We arrived at the base of Ben Nevis at 9pm on Friday evening, 13 hours after our departure from Tunbridge Wells. Having left with high hopes of a clear run to Scotland we soon discovered our minibus was limited to 62mph! Our race to the peak soon turned into a tortuous 13 hour slog.
Despite this, the team remained in good spirits and we soon set off, eager to stretch our legs. With just a few hours of daylight remaining we threw on our rucksacks and began our way up.
Unfavourable weather conditions awaited us on the summit, with thick cloud and a wind chill factor of -6 degrees. Darkness fell and we found our way barred by a stretch of snow and ice. With visibility as low as 10 feet we each gave ourselves a number to call out in the dark,, the unlucky thirteenth member instead opting for “12A”!
The summit was reached at 1am on Saturday morning. In freezing temperatures a group photo was quickly taken, though in the dark and fog we could have been anywhere. By sunrise we were back on the bus, sipping tea that our drivers had kindly kept warm for us.
Scafell Pike (978m)
Midway to the Lake District disaster struck. A faulty fuel gauge caused us to run out of fuel. Thankfully it was not long before the RAC rescued our stricken minibus and we were back on the road.
In contrast to its Scottish cousin, Scafell was climbed in glorious sunshine, offering spectacular views from the top. The route was short but steep and in under 5 hours we were off again, bound for Wales and our last summit.
Our designated driver (and my long-suffering father) drove heroically through the night, carefully negotiating the twists and turns of Snowdonia while the rest of us grabbed what sleep we could. By 4am on Sunday morning we were ready for the final climb. We left in time to meet the sunrise, in excellent spirits despite our lack of sleep.
In 4 hours we were on the summit for a final group photo and a moment to take in our surroundings. The descent was spurred on by thoughts of breakfast at a local climbers’ café, where the breakfasts are enormous and the tea served by the pint.
We finally arrived back at Number 22 at 9pm on Sunday evening. Tired but elated, we were all ready for some long awaited sleep!
Rethink Mental Illness directly supports thousands of people every year to get through crises and live independently. The charity operates more than 200 mental health services and 150 support groups across England, providing psychological therapies, peer support groups, housing services and crisis and recovery houses.
For more information, and to donate, please click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/crippsthreepeaks