Its time to raise some more cash, help get more wishes granted and take on an amazing challenge, which is why at the end of May I will be cycling the Welsh Three Peaks, solo, with the aim of breaking the current record.
What is the Welsh Three Peaks?
Most of us have heard of the National Three Peaks challenge, however less well known is the Welsh equivalent. This challenge spans the length of the Country – taking in the three peaks of Wales: Snowdon in the North, Cadair Idris in mid-Wales, and Pen y Fan in the South.
The challenge is clearly not as tough as the National Three Peaks, the 16km and 1300m ascent of Ben Nevis is replaced by the shorter 7km 400m climb up Pen y Fan. However, this does have its advantages though – being a shorter route provides the opportunity for those looking to take this walking challenge on in 24hrs can do so without a dedicated driver. Depending on your levels of fitness, its certainly possible to complete the Welsh Three Peaks in 15hrs.
All the challenge is approximately 17 miles on foot and 135 miles between the three mountains. So how am I taking it on?
Traditionally this challenge is run North to South, so as not to finish on the toughest mountain, Snowdon. I’ve stuck to this logic for my record attempt in May.
Height: 1,085 metres
Route: I’ll be ascending and descending Snowdon using the Ranger Path, which starts at the side of the Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel, and is approximately 6km long and has 900m of ascent.
I’ve picked this route up as it gives me a straighter route South on to Cader Idris, 43 miles away and is a far quieter route in respect to foot traffic than the main Pyg and Miners paths on the other side of the mountain.
Height: 893 metres
“Cadair” is Welsh for chair and “Idris” was a legendary giant who is said to have used the mountain as his armchair to gaze over his domain.
Route: Minffordd Path which is the shortest route up the mountain, at 5km, but possibly the hardest with an ascent of 869m – just shy of the climb at Snowdon. The route starts at the Dôl Idris Car Park and winds around the Llyn Cau lake before a final scramble to the summit. As with Snowdon, the reason for this walking point is to allow for less ascent on the bike (and therefore hopefully a higher average speed) and an easier start to the 94 mile journey on to the Brecon Beacons.
Pen y Fan
Situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the south of the UK. It is well known for it’s unpredictable weather and harsh terrain and as such the mountain has been used for many years by UK Special Forces to train and test its soldiers.
Route: From the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre its a fairly straightforward 3.6km route, ascending 480m to the summit. Not the most exciting route up the mountain, but it is one of the shortest and best maintained routes – which after 140 miles of cycling and 2 mountains will be well appreciated.
The record attempt
According to the Three Peaks Challenge website the fastest time to complete the challenge by bike is 22hrs.
Over a 24hr period spanning Thursday 23 – Friday 24 May I will be attempting to not only beat this time – set in 2013 – but I’ll be taking the challenge on solo and unsupported (so no drafting).
Why? Because records are meant to be broken, not lives.
Fundraising for Make-A-Wish UK
For the 3rd year running I’ll be supporting Make-A-Wish UK as part of this and my other record attempt in August – running the National Three Peaks as part of a 5 person, mixed relay team – because Make-A-Wish do something that is magical, something that the NHS cannot. They make a seriously ill child’s one true wish a reality.
Make-A-Wish believe that every child’s wish is different and their reason for wishing it is unique to them. Whether they wish to be a princess or a policeman for a day, own the latest computer equipment, meet a favourite celebrity or just enjoy a special holiday with their family – Make-A-Wish strive to make those wishes a magical reality that enriches the child’s life at a time when they need it most. It can give them hope for the future in anticipation for their wish to come true, it can provide confidence, a sense of well-being and time with their family to create memories that last a lifetime.
These wishes can quite literally transform the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of a seriously ill child.
So no, it a wish is not a cure – that isn’t what it is about. A wish is magic, it is hope, it is the laugh and the smile on a child’s face, it is respite and it is memories and, damn it, that is powerful stuff.
You can support me and together we can can grant magical wishes for seriously ill children – donate now at