Before I begin the exciting details on this adventure, let me just put it out there plain and clear - THIS WAS HARD! There is no way to make this challenge seem easy because every step was painful.
My dad decided this challenge would be a good indicator of my current endurance level so he booked it without me actually knowing what I was in for - and lets just say it wasn't pretty.. In case you're unaware as I was prior to this challenge, the basic idea of it entails a 24 hour trek with the 14 summits in Wales over 3000ft, covering a total of around 50km of steep, rocky scree slopes.
We began at 3am on May 4th with the scariest peak of them all, Crib Goch which was done in the dead of night, which if any one has done this before would know is pretty nerve-wracking. The famous ridge on Crib Goch is about 40cm wide so dropping down a couple of feet seemed the best way to traverse the ridge. We finished this with a quick pace and headed on to complete the first 3 mountains before coming back down to Nant Peris to grab a bite to eat and some change of clothes/boots. Our strategy was to wear approach shoes for the first part and then change to normal hiking boots for the rest.
We then set off for the next set which included a nice scramble up Tryfan. By the time we got to our next checkpoint at 6pm we had done the Glyders which seemed to go by fairly quickly. This could only mean one thing... the last set loomed over us, the Carnedds, and my oh my they were not fun!!!
We began the everlasting rolling hills that were the Carnedds, stopping every hour or so for a quick snack and a drink of ultra - sweet juicy water (not nice). We managed to reach the point before the last two hills behind Foel Grach were we found an emergency shelter and took the opportunity to put some blister plasters on our non - existent feet. Honestly the sight of them was unearthly.. But anyhow we carried on with our heads held high (to hold back the tears of pain) and reached the summit of Foel-Fras marking the end of our challenge! We reached this point at 2am which in fact meant that we had done the challenge in under 24 hours. I reckon at this point in time I couldn't quite comprehend the challenge I had just successfully completed, but one thing that popped into my head on the way down was how I had just done something that 50% of people fail to do, not bad huh.
To finish off this little story ill just say that the way down was never ending, and when I say never I mean it took around 5 hours to get to the bloody car. My feet could no longer handle my body weight so luckily I got a piggy back for the last few hundred metres. I managed to sustain no injuries until I sat down in front of the car and got stung by stinging nettles, little shits, but if i'm honest at this point I didn't care. When we did eventually reach our home in London I couldn't exactly walk very far and got stared at pretty weirdly for a few days...so that gives a little overview into my recovery period which ended up lasting around a week before I was back in the gym putting on a sweat.
This is definitely something I would never do again.