Big Yellow conquers the Three Peaks – by Neil Arnot
On Tuesday 30th July, Nathan Barnett, Marcus Hacker, Billy Robinson and Neil Arnot, all from Big Yellow, set off to start their Three Peaks Challenge. Their effort raised £3,500 for Cystic Fibrosis and is set to bring in more money. Here, Neil shares his account of the day and the challenges they faced.
“We all shared the driving and had a good run up to Scotland, arriving at around 5pm at the foot of Ben Nevis. The weather was quite good and plenty of people were out and about, however we did seem to be the last ones going up. About a quarter of the way up we were thinking ‘this is quite nice’ but as we went further up the weather started to change.
We thought we had more or less reached the top when we saw snow; this was surreal as it just approached us out of the blue. The snow on the ground only lasted about 50 metres and we thought ‘hey we must be nearly at the top now’ but no. Another 45 minutes passed before we reached the summit. Visibility was now down to a few feet and the temperature had dropped quite a bit and of course the heavens opened on us. After a few pictures were taken we decided to get back down to civilisation as soon as we could, this is where we all found out that coming down was just as hard as going up especially as it was now dark. Nathan had a couple of slips which ended up with him landing on his backside, Billy had not seen him fall, so as Nathan was explaining to Billy about the fall he had just had he took one step and went down like a tonne of bricks. Nathan found this hysterically funny so at least our spirits were still high.
We arrived back at the car at 11.30pm behind schedule and after a quick change we set off for Scafell Pike in Cumbria.
Although this is the smallest of The Three Peaks we were told it is the hardest and they were correct. This mountain had the steepest incline and was more rugged than the other two. The weather was still quite pleasant at 5.30am however, the heavens opened within 20minutes of our start.
After two and a half hours we reached the summit but could not see more than a few feet in front of ourselves. We again took some pictures and made our way down, however with it being so steep Nathan thought he was in the circus and fell a few more times again. Our knees were now aching with every step and as we made our way through the mist and rain, other people were on their way up the mountain. We must have looked like the four gentlemen from Last of the Summer Wine.
We arrived back at the car at 10.30pm, got changed, dried off and set off for Snowdonia in North Wales with a snoring Billy in the back of the car.
We arrived in beautiful Snowdonia at 3pm to set off up Mount Snowdon. By this time we were very sore and just wanted to go home. Luckily, Snowdon is a more pleasant walk than the others with beautiful views, lakes and lots of people enjoying this stretch of mountain. As we passed the third lake on the way up it started to get steeper and again we realised nothing on this challenge was ever going to be easy. The further we went up, the steeper it became and we could see that the weather again was closing in. We reached the summit and again could hardly see two feet in front of ourselves, so we decided not to hang around and started our decent. Our minds and bodies were now battered and bruised and the weather had punished us beyond belief. With every footstep our knee caps felt like they were being smashed with a hammer, but we soldiered on and got back to the car at around 8pm – 26.5 hours after we set off to climb Ben Nevis!
Lee Smith, Terry Adams and John Isherwood took part in the same challenge on Sunday 3rd August and similar tales of bad weather were to be told. We understand that what we went through on our experience is nothing compared to the people that suffer from Cystic Fibrosis and we are extremely pleased at the effort put in by all involved.”