Every year, Bournemouth Hospital Charity offers fundraisers the option to take part in trekking up and down the Welsh Three Peaks. In July 2018, we saw eight brave participants successfully take on the peaks. This is Brian Maidman’s story of the challenge in his own words…
The Welsh Three Peaks was the most challenging physical experience I have ever undertaken. The challenge totalled 18 hours from start to finish, including the travel between the different peaks. Our journey began at 5.30am at Pen y Fan up where we experienced a relatively cool early morning sun both up and down the peak. This leg of our journey took only two-and-a-half hours!
We were then driven for three hours to Cadair Idris for another five hour climb and descent on a relentless up hill and down dale of boulders and steps in soaring temperatures of the mid-day sun. We then drove for another one-and-a-half hours to our final peak, Snowdon! We began our trek at 5.00pm at the base, ready for the 3.5 hour climb to the summit.
Half an hour from the summit of Snowdon, I hit “the wall”. Totally drained of all resources physically and mentally to carry on, our mountain leader, Jethro, called for a rest break and the whole team rallied round with drinks, sweets, glucose tablets, bananas and very kind and encouraging words of support to get me to the top. 20 minutes later, we were on our way again, with me leading the pack so as to set the pace – albeit a slow pace – and sure enough, half an a hour later, we were on top of the world celebrating the most amazing moment of accomplishment.
We were a small team of six participants and our mountain leader who I had never met any of them until the day before, but without them, I couldn’t have done it and I will never forget them for that.
Our final descent – which took a total of three hours, with some of it requiring us to use torches to guide our way – was full of reflection on the day, with good stories from the day, a rendition of “Cockles & Muscles” followed by “Men Of Harlech”.
I’d like to offer big thanks to Karen from Bournemouth Hospital Charity for arranging every detail of the event and for always being on-hand with refreshments, food and encouraging words of support and acknowledgement. Huge thanks are also owed to Mark our driver, who donated his own time to get us there and back safely, along with Malcolm to ferry supplies and stow and porter kit whenever it was needed.
Ciaran, Jethro, Louise, Lucy, Lia and Abi made up the most tremendous team that I have had the privilege to meet. The completion of the Welsh Three Peaks with these people was a true milestone in my life.