We set off around , George had drawn the short straw and took the wheel of the Discovery over Hardknott and Wrynose passes. Whilst I felt obliged to stay awake and provide moral support, it is a battle I lost and grabbed about an hour of sleep. Mark fast crashed out across the back seats. Jim later told us he was having similar trouble holding the map up and navigating back though Ambleside, Windermere etc. to the M6.
Eventually I awoke and George admitted defeat, asking me if I was ready to do some driving, a quick switch in a lay-by and we were ready for the off again. I started well but soon started having trouble my self on the M6. I am convinced that Joff was changing lanes so frequently just to wind me up (or maybe keep me awake).
pulled into the services just before the M56, grabbed a coffee and Breakfast.
Joff had a particularly tasty looking Black Pudding sandwich (just the thing at
having now been on the go for 16 hours). George got back
behind the wheel and I resumed my position in the passenger seat (Mark was flat
out on the back seats the whole way from Wasdale to Pen y Pass). I grabbed a bit
more sleep and we eventually arrived at Pen Y Pass at just after 10: a.m., to be
greeted by a jobsworth car park attendant, who let one car in but not the other.
We pointed out to him that a van of other 3 peakers was just leaving and he
grudgingly let us in. A refilling of tasty energy drinks (not) and we were ready
to go. Joff joined us for the
we arrived at the first scree slope the pain as real ascent resumed, I was
reduced to racing a 7 year old girl up the Snowdon scree and was pleased to beat
her (although her 5 year old brother beat me). This was now really starting to
become a struggle and I was more and more being asked for an altitude check by
the rest of the team. It seemed that 1085 m would never arrive. A
Route finding was not difficult, up the
staircase of rocks built by kindly
Then the summit appeared and we queued up for our go then squeezed on amongst the many others up there. I was fairly overcome with emotion at this point, realising that all I had to do was get back down in 3 ˝ hours to complete the challenge. The ascent had taken 1 hour 58 minutes, so I felt quite confident. Another quick call to Diane (my girlfriend), a bit of video (worth a look at this one, you can easily see that I have absolutely had enough) and I was ready for the off.
Rather boldly I jumped off the cairn and bashed by right knee, I walked on for a hundred yards only to have to stop in agony, I couldn’t believe that I was going to get this close and not finish. I remembered that I had some paracetemol stashed in my rucksack, so gobbled some of them down and hobbled on. This was going to be tough, as each step down was painful. After a while the painkillers started to kick in and the other knee started to play up. I knew I had almost enough time crawl down, so just hobbled on slowly. The rest of the team had stopped in the summit café for a cup of tea. Paddy and Joff joined me to the bottom of the scree and then said that they wanted to run the miners track, so off they went (idiots!!!). One by one the rest of the team also came running by (also idiots). I plodded on and eventually saw came round the final bend to see the Pen Y Pass car park. I crossed the finish line at , 22 hours and 23 minutes after the start, the day before at Glen Nevis car park. Paddy finished first in 21 hours 50 minutes, George, Mark, Jim, Miles, Niv and Joff all finished somewhere in between.
George and Mark were lucky to finish at all having followed the hydro electric pipe down into the wrong valley. They realised their mistake and had to take a big detour back into the Pen Y Pass valley.
We all piled into the cars and drove a few miles to the pre booked hotel "The Prince Llewelyn" in Beddgelert. It was quite a sight watching us hobble up the two flights of stairs to our rooms, this nearly took 24 hours in its self. We took a soothing bath, grabbed an hour of sleep and then headed to the bar for a few of the most deserved pints in the history of mankind.