Ice Performance - Jigsaw Solutions - Paul White

Three Peaks

Well, here we go again, this time with my 2013 Personal Challenge to maintain my learning curve of competitor experience and operational advantage.

Paul White, ICE, Adventure, 3 Peaks Challenge

The National Three Peaks Challenge is an event in which participants attempt to climb the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. Walkers climb each peak in turn, and are driven from the foot of one mountain to the next.

The three peaks are:

  • Ben Nevis (1,344 m or 4,409 ft), the highest mountain in Scotland

  • Scafell Pike (978 m or 3,209 ft), the highest mountain in England

  • Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa (1,085 m or 3,560 ft), the highest mountain in Wales

The total distance walked is estimated at 42 kilometres (26 mi) or 44 km (27 mi), with a total ascent of 9,800 feet (3,000 m).

With all my experience in endurance sports I still made simple mistakes. After climbing Ben Nevis on schedule we all got taken in by the time factor and the real opportunity to beat the 24hr clock. With road closures at Loch Lomond we were now up against it which led to injuries on Scarfell Pike and just making the cut off and as we left Scarfell Pike after only dropping 3 minutes we were confronted by a farmer with his flock of sheep which lost us another fifteen minutes.

Now common sense prevailed and we kept within the speed limits but didn't feel like eating on the journey to Snowdon. This was going to prove a factor when ascending Snowdon in the afternoon. Three quarters of the way up Snowdon a man down and two of us on empty in 29 degrees of heat we refueled on energy gels and jelly babies. Although some recovering took place the remainder of the ascent and descent of Snowdon were painful and completed on determination. Lessons learnt are stick to the plan, prepare well, race fast. Always eat even if you do not feel like it.

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