There was Ben Nevis and Snowdon, but no Scafall. Why not? Read on, you will understand why not while also living through our hiking experience in England and the fun we had!

Six of us – Julia (leader of the pack), Kirill (calmest of the pack, a born survivor), Cathy (ever the sport!), Ryan Kruger (director of the pack), Jwo Ru (cheetah of the pack!) and myself (hmmmm…..left to the reader to form an opinion J), met at the bus stop at Baker Street to board a bus to London Luton.

Our adventure started even before the hiking commenced – our flight was delayed by 2 hours! Since 7 am at the bus stop was a massive effort for most of us, we were all curled up on the seats right before the departure gates.

Venkat (the most daring of the pack), for he kept awake through the previous night to take an early flight to Inverness, reaching four hours earlier than us and almost believing that we were playing a prank on him – he had just begun to grow leaves when we collected him from the airport!

With our rental car, we set out to stock food and fill our stomachs with carbohydrates to prepare us for the first stage of hiking – Ben Nevis, Scotland. Ben Nevis was gorgeous to say the least – sunshine as we started our ascent, lush greenery all around, small puddles of water everywhere, rains throughout the hike, a small waterfall half way through and a stunning snow-capped peak. The trail was quite straight forward. However, finishing the round-trip in 6 hours pushed our physical boundaries.

I’ve done more challenging trails during my hiking experiences with ‘Chennai Trekking Club’ however my clear lack of stamina was evident from the way I was breathing hard. Julia was the one merrily giving us stories to keep the spirits up particularly when muscles unknown to us were screaming for relief. Ryan kept pace with her while Jwo Ru effortlessly marched along. Finally at the peak of Ben Nevis, all seven of us – happy to have made it through the snow!!!

It was amusing to note that while I was struggling through the ascent of Ben Nevis, I was leading the team during our descent, more like a possessed soul! Even Ryan mentioned this as something he wouldn’t forget about the hike. This madness was the result of feeling extremely ashamed with myself for allowing my once-admired stamina deteriorate in a matter of months.

Ryan, Kirill and Venkat alternated as drivers – a commendable effort! Ben Nevis took us 6 hours including a 15 minute break. A diversion on the highway took 2 hours off us, which is when we decided to alter the plan, albeit just a bit. We decided to make it a comfortable 2 peak conquest in 24 hours rather than the 3 peak challenge. We unanimously decided it was Snowdon at Wales. Venkat and I decided to take it easy and we stayed back. While Kirill & Cathy made it up to 80% of the peak, it was Ryan, Julia and Jwo Ru who made it to Snowdon’s peak. The surprise cake-cutting for Julia’s birthday happened mid-way to Snowdon’s peak – all smiles!

Well, it was certainly a refreshing and an exhilarating trip that gave us major insights into the planning and training required for such a challenge. We are ready to take on the 3 peak challenge sometime soon and look forward to the same :)

2 Responses to “MiFFT2013’s 3 peak challenge!”

  1. avatar Arijit Som says:

    Awesome article Gayathri..while reading your story I just felt for some moment that I am in London with your team as a INVISIBLE SIXTH partner..Thanks a lot for such an article.

    Regards,
    Arijit Som
    ASE at TCS

    • avatar Gayathrisai says:

      Hi Arijit,
      Sorry for my delayed response. Thanks a lot for your kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed the article!
      Warm Regards,
      Gayathri