After believing that our Metrol team could complete the Welsh Three Peak Challenge in 24 hours without a hitch, we soon uncovered that this was going to be harder than first thought.
Staying overnight at Merthyr Tydfil we stumbled out of bed at 0400 to start our challenge at the foot of Pen-y-fan. By 0450 the blurry eyed team were ascending the first peak.
As the cold and wet team descended the peak, many began a swift run to the bottom to quickly enjoy a hot brew and bacon sandwich. After the last couple of team members finally made it back to the bottom, we were all in the cars by 0700 on our way to the second leg of the challenge.
The lengthy drive down Welsh country roads provided the drivers with much enjoyment. While the bends and turns gave the drivers a smile, the ups and downs left one team member needing a quick stop for â€œfresh airâ€ before continuing on.
As the majority of the team gathered in the car park of Cadir Idris we noticed we had already lost several team members, arriving forty minutes later with excuses of a â€œbroken sat navâ€.
Cadir Idris was a real challenge and definitely the hardest of the 3 peaks. Taking the Minfford track and walking past the serene glacial lake into the clouds was more treacherous than the journey to Mordor.
Consistent rain and an undying sharp wind made the venture to the summit a difficult task at best. With the team splitting up to reach the monument at the top first several team members spent a while sat in the blistering winds waiting for everyone else. As the remaining team caught up we found shelter in a small hut at the top. Once everyone had regained their breath and were ready to descend, we began the journey back down towards the car park â€“ where three of our team currently sat dry and warm after abandoning the challenge due to a variety of injuries.
When we all reached the bottom and regrouped we treated ourselves to a variety of different lunches to refuel for the final peak.
The mighty Snowdon was all that was left to conquer, with the weather improving, the members still able to walk made the short trip to pen y pass and the start of the miners track ready to take on the ascent. Starting on a very gentle well surfaced path lulled us into a false sense of how easy the next section would be.
A steep climb to the summit required the team to push their aching bodies to their limits, feeling as if our bodies had been drained of all life and energy the remaining team members put one foot in front of another and at times one hand in front of the other to climb to the top.
Although the very top of the peak was shrouded in cloud, 20ft lower where the clouds dispersed, and the sun kept warm, the view was stunning. The LLanberis path provided a delightful, calmer walk to the finish with oldest team member running to the finish line to show the youngsters how it should be done!
The Metrol team would like to extend a special thank you to the following businesses and individuals without whom the campaign would have been very different.
BACA Safety Wear - for free campaign T-Shirts and flapjacks - www.bacasafety.com
Metrol Springs - for providing transport, accommodation and provisions - www.metrol.com
The Castle Hotel - for providing a free breakfast and a packed lunch for the day of the climb - www.castlehotelwales.com
A big thank you to Mark at Kreitzberg for such a generous contribution to the cause www.kreitzberg.de
Metrol would also like to thank everyone who supported out challenge by donating on our Just Giving page. Thank you to customer and suppliers, our friends, and our families