A 38-STRONG team of novice hikers from Yate and Chipping Sodbury have raised more than £12,000 for cancer and mental health charities after climbing Britain’s three tallest mountains in under 40 hours.

The troop, led by ex-marine Lee Ralph, scaled Mount Snowdon, Ben Nevis and finally Scafell Pike to complete the Three Peaks Challenge after a series of incidents caused the team to reroute on day one.

The team aimed to climb Mount Snowdon and Scafell Pike within the first 24 hours, before taking on Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis in the early hours of day two.

Poor weather conditions, with treacherous wind speeds at the summit of Snowdon, slowed the team but logistical issues with their coach company put the team so far behind schedule they were unable to climb Scafell Pike the same day.

After completing Ben Nevis, the team returned to Scafell Pike in the Lake District to complete the challenge which involves over 26 miles of walking and climbs of almost 10,000ft.

The team made up of women from a bootcamp group formed in lockdown as well as their partners and friends, sustained a number of injuries during the climb. Most notably, Tom Worrall suffering a broken toe. The TK Building director, (a sponsor of the trek) climbed all three mountains wearing one hiking boot and one croc shoe. Members have contacted the Guinness World Record team to see if this is a unique incident.

The group have so far raised over £12,000 for EHE Rare Cancer Charity, MIND and Cancer Research with donations set to rise with a half marathon log run scheduled and a charity tattoo session kindly donated by Freak or Unique.

George Leach, director of Knight and Leach plumbing, an event sponsor, conveyed how many of the hikers relied on the support of others, having underestimated the physical and mental stamina needed for the challenge.

“On the first mountain we were in good spirits, but soon realised we had no idea what we were expecting, the adrenaline pushed everyone up” George said.

“I didn’t find the climbs as difficult as some, however, this made me realise I needed to step up to help those struggling.”

A member of the team suffered breathing problems as she neared the summit of Ben Nevis; “A couple of us climbed with her at a speed she could manage but I was silently starting to panic. This made me realise how dangerous being on these mountains could be for some.”

Despite the difficulties, George added: “This was one of the best experiences of my lifetime and I am so proud of the determination from the entire team.”

Lee Ralph, who masterminded the event, said: “This event came together because of the camaraderies and friendships we have made over the years.

“Climbing mountains is a physical and mental challenge and I am so proud of the entire team that faced one of the biggest challenges in their lives so far.

“Personally, I would like to thank a number of companies including Health Edge, S.T. One Electrical, RG Installations, Tanhouse Developments, Creative Grain,Pearce Bros Mobility, CL Electrical, Pass and Totterdell, Aaron Morgan mortgages, DH Plastering and Wessex Water for their sponsorships for the trip. Also Jimmy Deane’s who donated free fruit for the trip.

“I created Commando Bootcamp unaware of the impact it would have on the lives of those involved, the pride I have for this team is immeasurable, after all- it pays to be a winner.”

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