Industry leaders complete gruelling Three Peaks Challenge ahead of Kilimanjaro climb

  • Team of industry leaders complete gruelling Three Peaks Challenge
  • Group climbed three of Britain’s tallest peaks in just two days to raise cash for automotive charity Ben
  • Test was in preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro next year

Time 3 weeks ago

A team of motoring industry leaders has raised close to £55,000 after completing the gruelling ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ this week.

The group of well-known faces from across the industry scaled three of Britain’s tallest peaks in a challenging test of endurance.

The challenge was part of the crew’s preparations to take on Kilimanjaro in February of next year.

Those taking part in ‘The Climb’ are hoping to raise £300,000 for automotive charity Ben and have currently received £54,900 (as of Sunday).

The latest step on the road to Kilimanjaro did not get off to the best of starts when Aspire Adventure’s Jason Rawles, who was leading the expedition, returned a positive LFT for Covid.

He was forced to miss the peaks challenge, which was instead led by a team of mountaineering experts.

On Monday and Tuesday, the team scaled Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales.

The challenge was set up to be as similar to Kilimanjaro as possible with the crew facing a number of difficulties along the way.

They faced temperatures of -2C, 55mph winds and flooded routes but completed the challenge on schedule on Tuesday afternoon.

Among those taking on the challenge was Haymarket Automotive MD, Rachael Prasher and editorial director, Jim Holder; Adrian Wallington from Marshall and John Tordoff of JCT600.

It was also taken on by Joel Combes, from Lawgistics, who caught up with Car Dealer to describe the challenge.

Here is what he told us…

Monday morning 6am we received a video briefing from Jason explaining the route we will take, the terrain we would cover and the weather we were going to encounter with helpful tips on what to wear and take to eat. A taxi was waiting at 7.45am and we were taken to the foot of Ben Nevis to meet our new guides for 8.15am.

We took the tourist track which is a trek of 14.3km with an elevation of 1,344m.

Although called the tourist track, the path was steep and rugged in some places, and as we came closer to the top the trail was covered in snow, with strong winds and temperature of -2 although with the wind it felt like -9.

Although the group was of different abilities we all stuck together travelling the pace of the slowest members and completed the climb in just over seven hours.

Then we had another disaster, the roads to our second peak, Scarfell Pike, had been flooded and plans would have to be changed again.

As before, Aspire Adventures had this eventuality covered and we were directed to Blencathra in the Lake District for our night time challenge. A grueling four hour walk in the dark with driving rain and 55mph winds.

We took the Blenacatha Scales Fell route which is a trek of 6.9km with an elevation of 863m.

For me, this was the worst of the the three peaks. It was four hours of immense concentration in high winds and darkness.

The incline was steep and hard on the legs especially after already climbing Ben Nevis. All I could see was the heels of the person ahead of me and the lack of views made it more intense. The only reward was completing the hike and catching 2 hrs sleep before we arrived at the third and final peak.

Our third peak was Snowdon, which we had climbed as a team twice before but never suffering from sleep deprivation and extremely tired legs.

We took the Pyg pass up and Llanberis down which is a trek of 11.5km with an elevation of 1,077m.

We arrived at Snowdon on Tuesday morning at 6.20, just in time to enjoy the sun rise on the way up. We were also uplifted to be joined by Jason who’s PCR test had come back negative.

Being able to see the beautiful scenery helped ease the pain in our legs but the whole team was suffering from aches and pains so the climb was at a much slower pace than we have completed before.

However, this training exercise was never about speed, it was about experiencing the elements which we certainly achieved, especially as we were met by a snow blizzard as we summited Snowdon.

We had it all, rain, sun, high winds and snow. It was a testing challenge but we helped each other through it and certainly feel a lot more prepared for Kilimanjaro.

‘The reality was brutal’

One of the other climbers on the trip says the trip was ‘brutal’ but now feels better prepared for Kilimanjaro next year.

Jim Holder described the challenge as being like watching the London Marathon on TV and thinking ‘I can do that’.

The Haymarket editorial director said: ‘The only thing I can equate the challenge of the Three Peaks to is watching the London Marathon on television and thinking “I could do that”.

‘It’s so easy to think you can do it, and so enticing to research – but the reality was really quite brutal, especially with the weather conditions we faced.

‘But, like all charities, Ben is having a terrible time during the pandemic, struggling to raise funds. When you consider it from that perspective, having to dig deep for a day wasn’t so bad, even if my knees are continuing to protest now!’

Ben the climb

Jason Rawles, who kept in touch with the crew throughout the challenge, added: ‘I was waiting for a PCR test result so unable to travel until it was confirmed negative.

‘However, as a business, we always plan for every eventuality including me not being a single point of a failure.

‘A large team is always in place to support success but it still needs every person to step in to the dark, cold mountain environment and show grit and determination.

Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

‘When I got the negative result I was able to join the team on Snowdon and be with them as they ploughed through the blizzard on the summit to their challenge success. I couldn’t be prouder.’

Anyone wishing to donate Ben can do so here.

Pictures provided by Joel Combes.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

More stories...

Server 51