It’s one of the toughest tests that hill walking has to offer but that didn’t daunt a team from Grimsby’s Franklin College who recently completed the Three Peaks Challenge. The team, (comprising facilities manager Gavin Hall, information director Martin Goodhand, chemistry teacher Nima Dirjal, vice principal Tom Dannatt and principal Trevor Wray) took it all in their stride and raised over £2,400 for charity in the process!
The Three Peaks involves climbing the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis at 4,409ft, Scafell Pike at 3,206ft and Snowden at 3,560ft) all within a 24 hour period (including the driving between the mountains so time is tight.
The aim was to raise money for Action Medical Research which is dedicated to improving the health of babies and children. The team took the charity’s mascot, Paddington Bear, normally more at home in Windsor Gardens or darkest Peru, to the top of all three mountains.
Vice principal Tom Dannatt expressed his gratitude to the team’s sponsors, especially Ready Rent A Van who generously donated the transport to get them between climbs. Hundreds of people sponsored the team on line and college staff raised several hundred pounds from activities around Franklin.
“We’re all exhausted but we’re really pleased to have had support from across the College”, said Tom, “I can’t thank the staff enough for all of their contributions.”
The team, three of whom were new to distance walking, took their preparation seriously, undertaking a number of training walks in Wales and northern England in the weekends leading up to the event. This proved to be a wise move.
“I don’t think we’d have made it without the training,” said principal Trevor Wray. “It helped us get a lot fitter, which is a good thing in itself, and it let us know exactly what we were taking on.”
After a night under canvas, fending off the ferocious Scottish midges, the team set out at the crack of dawn on Saturday and finished in the early hours of Sunday and despite heavy rain in most of the west they were fortunate to be blessed with perfect weather conditions.
Despite the west of the country experiencing heavy downpours all weekend, the Franklin team were blessed with good weather throughout.
“Getting to the top of Snowdon as the sun was rising was a fantastic sight” said Gavin Hall, Facilities Manager. “It’s rare for the weather to be so good – it was an absolutely perfect morning and something I’ll never forget”.
Franklin’s Director of Information Services, Martin Goodhand, spoke for everyone in expressing their gratitude teacher of Chemistry Nima Dirjal. “Without Nima, we could never have completed the Challenge”, said Martin. “He was a tower of strength throughout, and negotiated a really tricky route with great skill. When we were flagging on Scafell on Saturday night, it was Nima who kept us in the race!”.
The Franklin team are now taking a well-earned break from spending their weekends climbing mountains, although they are looking around for their next charity fund-raising challenge in 2015!
You can read this article in full in our Issue 28 web edition