Tuesday, 22 May 2012
ARCTIC conditions and temperatures of -17c were not enough to stop Cardiff health staff completing a gruelling 24 hour challenge.
Mental health team members from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board took on the Three Peaks Challenge, conquering three mountains in three different countries in just 24 hours.
Alison Carpenter, one of the team who took on the challenge in aid of mental health charity Hafal, said: “Wow, what can I say. We survived, but it was a phenomenal challenge that tested our physical and mental abilities.
"The top of Ben Nevis was close to Arctic conditions with two metres of snow, 50mph winds and -17c temperatures.”
The climbers tackled the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales - Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scaffell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m) - all within 24 hours - a phenomenal 27 miles and 3000m of ascent.
Alison said: “Scafell Pike was a steep and cruel mountain, whilst Snowdon blessed us in warm rays of sunshine only to shroud us in extremely cold cloud within a few minutes of reaching its summit.
“The final journey down was extremely long. The end was met with a tremendous sense of euphoria, greeted by a welcome bottle of Bailey's kindly donated by a fellow mountaineer who appreciated our endurance.
“The team said there was a great sense of camaraderie and an experience they will remember forever – one person said it was like being in a car crash.
“But everyone agreed it was all worth it for such a good cause.”
The team were raising money for Hafal having seen first hand the work the charity does in the community.
They have already beaten their fundraising target but are hoping that their exploits and having faced such challenging conditions will encourage more people to pledge their support.
Ian Wile, Cardiff and Vale UHB’s Divisional Manager for Mental Health, said: “It sounds as if the elements were really against them at times during their challenge but they’ve shown great determination in seeing it through, helped I am sure in the knowledge that the money they raised will help patients throughout the community and Wales.
“They all deserve a round of applause.”