3 Faces of Success: Thriving on the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge

3 Faces of Success: Thriving on the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge

3 Faces of Success: Thriving on the Snowdon 24hr Charity Challenge


Its was an incredibly challenging 24hrs, there is no doubt about that. But also one that passed like a bit of a dream. I'm not sure if that is due to the heightened states of meditation that I have experienced and so did I go into a semi-altered state, or just something that through sleep deprivation was leaving us a bit spacey.

After not being sure how we would handle the challenge, I was gratefully surprised to find that my level of fitness was not the factor that determined how successful this was. If you read my previous blog on this https://bencalder.co.uk/blog/ben-heads-to-the-mountains-for-the-snowdon-24hr-charity-challenge-with-centre-for-integral-health/, you'd know there was a little curiosity from me about how the different training styles of the 3 of us who were the main team would translate to being in the challenge. Christina, continued to lead her HIIT classes, practice calisthenics and was doing training walks with extra weight to help prepare for carrying her step dad's chainsaw boots (done in memory of him and her uncle, in who's honour she is raising money and doing the challenge), I was doing climbing and Qigong and Jayne (of Wingnut Creations) was not doing anything (she doesn't count the climbing we've done as relevant, which to be fair, as the last chance we got to go was a month before, I'd agree).


The results were simple, we all did great, no one doing better than the others, on one failed. We all ended up with achy knees on the 2nd and 3rd descents, something that was helped for Jayne and I by using some Apple Cider Vinegar compresses. We also made sure that we did some massage at the end of the challenge and a Qigong session the next morning (after 12hrs sleep) which seemed to take away most of the aches and stiffness and we didn't really suffer any DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which is typical 24-48hrs after having over exerted muscles.

 This was a fabulous result as it showed the one thing that was common to us all was the positive mental attitude that we could do this, that we wanted to do this and by doing it we were helping others AND giving ourselves a great experience.

There are no words that I can really use to describe how beautiful some of those moments were on the mountain. 3 very different ascents, 3 very different lights, 3 very different types and numbers of people on the mountain and all packed into such a short space of time.

In the 1st ascent, we all felt so strong and cheerful, and apart from one couple, the other people we saw were on their way down. But we reached the top just after 8.30pm, with just over a dozen others there to enjoy the sight and were greeted by a Halo on the summit. To see my own silhouette projected by the sun onto the clouds ahead of us in a rainbow bubble was just magical.

In the 2nd ascent, starting at 1.30am was strange to be in the dark and again the quietness of it, just a few other head torches visible on the mountain as we aimed to be at the top before sunrise. And that we were, with again just over a dozen others who had trekked up, it was the coldest of the ascents, so we didn't hang about and was great to see others on their way up to see what we had seen in the quiet early hours. Knees got a bit achy on the way down and I was very grateful for my walking poles.


After a bit more sleep (only 90 mins) and a slightly later start, and after the apple cider vinegar compresses for the knees, we set off again, this time more slowly, as it was clear the sleep debt was there, but improved after the first hour. The mountain at this time was much much busier, with an almost unbroken line of folks heading up both Pyg and Miners tracks, many also doing charity events. It was so endearing to feel the positivity and support that everyone was offering to each other, encouraging words, offers of water for those who were un prepared and the sheer determination of the some the people for whom this was a real Everest challenge. There must have been around 1500 people on the summit, a crazy sight, but one that was great to see and be part of, so many people enjoying this.

After a slow descent, kindly taking our time, stopping at LLyn Glaslyn on the way to paddle and cool our feet and have a short snooze, we drove to our nearby campsite and did massage for each other for about an hour, slept well and then did an hour or Lifeforce Qigong to recoup energy and mobility while shaking off the tension that was trying to accumulate. I also spent some time on my Gravity unit to help my back (see www.gravitylife.co.uk for details and use code INTEGRAL to get £30 off the RRP).

It was a great adventure and somewhere in there were cries of what are we doing next, mixed with, I'm not doing that again. So we'll see. A massive thank you to all those who supported us, all those who helped in raising over £1200 for Midland Air Ambulance and £2000 for the Blood Bikes. If you're planning to do anything like this, plan, train, get advice from a specialist with experience and more than anything else, be kind to you, the mountain will be there another day.


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