About two weeks ago my good friend and former colleague Justin Hostettler-Davie -JHD (Blog | Twitter) asked me via my wife on Facebook if I fancied climbing Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, with him on Saturday the 16th October and for some reason I said OK why not.
Justin is training to climb Kilimanjaro in the new year (January 2011) to raise money for Velindre Cancer Centre. You can read more about Justin’s challenge and make a donation if you want to here. He has climbed several mountains in preparation for his challenge including Cadair Idris, Pen Y Fan, and Snowden and this Saturday we attempted Scafell Pike he has been accompanied by several friends over the course of his training, but Lance Thomas (No Blog | No Twitter) has been on most of his training climbs with him.
We set off from South Wales Friday lunch time, slightly late because JHD missed my junction on the motorway, again! He never remembers where I live, so instead of leaving at 1230 we left at 1315. JHD, Lance and myself made our way from South Wales via the M4, M5 and M6 finally arriving in Cumbria and the Lake District. When we left my house the TomTom said it would take us 5.5 hours to reach our destination, in reality though, with Friday afternoon traffic it took us just over 7 hours and we arrived at our digs at around 2030. We had a couple of beers in the bar and a game of pool and we got a relatively early night.
We were up at 0700 Saturday morning, had some breakfast and made our way to the mountain. We started our climb at around 915. The mountain stands at 978 metres high (3208 feet) and the first 400 metres were very very steep and very very difficult. after that though despite it getting colder and windy the climb eased out and we ascended to the top in just over 2 hours. Here are some pictures from the summit:
As you can see there are some amazing views from the summit and despite how I struggled up the first half the climb it was well worth the effort.
The terrain on Scafell Pike is very rocky and after spending about 30 minutes at the summit taking photo’s and admiring the views we began our decent. The rockiness of the terrain meant that we had be as careful the descent as we were on the way up and it took us about 1.5 hours to down, we got back to the car with a feeling of satisfaction and achievement at around 1445 and made our 6 hour drive home. I had a great time and intend to go on a few more training climbs before JHD heads off to Africa in the New Year.
There are two reasons for this post. I wanted to tell you about my weekend and I also wanted to raise awareness for my friends cause and challenge. If you would like to give a donation please use this link; http://www.justgiving.com/JustinTreksKilimanjaro if you can’t give but would like to show you support please retweet this post on twitter on post on facebook.