After voting for us as their charity of the year, Tom Smith and Rob Lomax from the Jensten Group decided to set themselves a gruelling personal challenge, undertaking the National Three Peaks – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Peak in Cumbria and Snowdon in Wales – in just 24 hours.
Total ascent: 10,052ft
Total walking distance: 23 miles
Total driving distance: 1,080 miles
“When our colleague, Sonya, lost her son, Joel, to lung cancer it was a huge shock to us all. Joel was only 29 and it was a stark reminder that anyone can be affected by lung cancer.
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has been a huge support to Sonya and her family, so when it came to naming our latest charity of the year, the choice was obvious.
The team has been doing lots of different things to raise money, but we wanted to really push our limits and, with the help of the charity’s corporate partnership team and Ashbys Adventure Trails and Treks, devised this bespoke challenge.
The day started early as we aimed to do most of the climbing in daylight. We arrived at challenge one – Ben Nevis – around 3pm and after stretching our legs, we set off feeling positive and optimistic.
Standing at 4,412ft, Ben Nevis can be a brutal climb, especially in the winter. The last few kilometres were arctic, the temperature -14 and we needed crampons on our boots to negotiate the steep and slippery terrain.
Four hours and 28 minutes, we were back in car tucking into a high calorie chicken curry and heading off to Scafell Pike.
We pulled into the, unsurprisingly, empty carpark around 1.30am and set off on our 3,209ft climb in the pitch black. It was a steep climb with the darkness only adding to the challenge. All we could see were one another’s head torches and the green glow sticks on our rucksacks.
But we made it, completing the climb in 3.5 hours. The support team handed us our recovery drinks and another high calorie meal. This time pasta bolognese was on the menu! Our main priority was our feet though and changing out of our soaking wet clothes before setting down for our journey to Snowdon.
Despite the brutality of the first two climbs, we arrived at our final destination feeling confident. We have climbed Wales’s finest before and thankfully, it was light again. It was absolutely freezing though and as we negotiated the summit, we needed our crampons again just to stay upright!
The feeling when we finished was incredibly emotional, but we were so proud to have completed it in 23 hours and 5 minutes and, most importantly, raise money for this fantastic charity.”