14th June 2018, teams from the Railway Industries gathered to conquer the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland, all within a crazy 36 hours for the Railway Children Three Peaks Challenge. Entrants to the event, consisting of teams of four and five, get to climb the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales with a special train linking participants to each.
This challenging event takes place over three days, commences on Thursday 14th June, with the teams scaling the heights of Mount Snowdon overnight before heading to Ravenglass to climb Scafell Pike and concludes with an overnight train up to Fort William to climb the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis on Saturday 16th June.
The ascent up Mount Snowdon is 725m (2381ft) with the summit standing at 1085m (3560ft). From the start to the summit the distance is approximately 4 miles (6.4km) and as the climb is at night, head torches are obligatory and walking time is anticipated at approximately four hours.
After Snowdon the charming Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway journey awaits to Dalegarth Station where the ascent of Scafell Pike begins. The smallest of the three mountains, at 977m (3206ft), Scafell Pike’s terrain is rocky and the anticipated walking time is approximately two hours longer at six hours due to a 5-mile walk to get to the foot of mountain, plus the climb is slower with the difficult terrain. The initial walk to Scafell is part of the Railway Children challenge and helps to minimise the impact to the surrounding roads and villages by not ferrying all the climbers in uses buses.
ASL is delighted to support a team at this year’s event from the Thales Group, David, Peter, and Tim, all pictured here wearing their lovely ASL sponsored event T-shirts after completing Scafell Pike.
The Ben Nevis’ ascent begins from the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre and zig-zags the broad west slopes of Ben Nevis to the exposed summit plateau, 1344m (4409ft) high and involves 1325m (4347ft) of climbing. Distance from the start to the summit is approximately 4¾ miles(7.6km) with an anticipated walking time of five and a half hours.
Upon completion of the challenge, Peter McNamara from the Thales Group team sums up the difficulties reaching the summit of Ben Nevis, “The challenge was very successful, the weather was not great and the lack of sleep over the 2 days really saps the energy”.
“Ben Nevis was particularly tough in terms of the conditions near the summit and quite a few teams had people turn back and a few more where the safety teams and other teams helped to had to intervene to get some people down. Quite an extreme climb” summarises McNamar.
The Railway Children charity aims to support children that are forced to leave home, reaching them as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervening before abusers can. The charity has reached more than 275,000 children in India, the United Kingdom and East Africa.
This year’s Railway Children Three Peaks event stands to raise more than £180,000 for the charity, which is used to assist with tens of thousands of children in the UK and overseas, under the age of sixteen, running away from home each year.
“Our Three Peaks event is a great example of the rail industry all working together to do something fantastic for vulnerable children. In a world that’s sometimes full of very negative stories, our Three Peaks train seems to highlight the best of human spirit”, comments Katie Mason, Events Manager, Railway Children.
“We couldn’t do it without all the wonderful people and companies who support us. The on board crew work so hard and as I said on the train, they are all volunteers, working without sleep. When we were sleeping on Friday night, they were clearing away our dinner and preparing breakfast and lunch for the next day. All in very cramped conditions”, concludes Mason.