Climbers - defeated but still determined

Gareth Williams, Shaun Wilde and Mark Raven at the summit of Ben Nevis
Gareth Williams, Shaun Wilde and Mark Raven at the summit of Ben Nevis
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Horrendous weather conditions, road closures and an injured member put the brakes on a charity trek.

Gareth Williams, Shaun Wilde and Mark Raven were attempting to climb three mountains in three countries all within 24 hours in aid of Overgate Hospice.

The trio managed to summit Ben Nevis and were three quarters of the way up Scafell Pike when they had to admit defeat.

Gareth said: “We managed to summit Ben Nevis in -22 windchill. We had GPS on the Plateau as the visibility was down to one metre. It took eight hours to complete.

“After getting back down we set off to the Lakes. It took five and a half hours to get there because of road closures and bad weather.

“After two hours ascending Scafell Pike the weather turned for the worse. There were 30 to 40mph winds and driving rain. We hit the cloud line and the visibility was down to just a few metres again.

“Mark was complaining of pains in his toes. We later found out two were broken.

“After some real soul searching and regret we had to admit defeat. But we knew it was the right thing to do as we had another 400m to climb and the weather was going to be worse at the summit.”

The group was relieved to get to safety. “We now know why nobody takes on the challenge in winter. There’s way too many elements against you to complete it in 24 hours. We all vowed to complete the challenge in Spring 2014. We won’t be defeated,” said Gareth, 34, from Ripponden.

The third mountain they were due to climb was Snowden in Wales.

But they have raised £700 for the Elland hospice which cared for Gareth’s nanna who died earlier this year and both himself and Shaun, his brother in law, have also lost two close friends recently who were at the hospice.

Shaun, 36, from Golcar in Huddersfield, and Mark, 42, from Bramley, Leeds, along with Gareth will take the challenge next year and new members are welcome to join the team.

People can still donate at www.justgiving.com/3nationalpeaks