THE 100 PEAKS CHALLENGE
Karl founded The 100 Peaks Challenge in memory of and in tribute to his younger brother Lloyd (Lloydy), and used the event as a means of trying to deal with losing him in a positive way.
Lloydy was a member of the British Army Special Forces unit, 22 regiment SAS, and like 452 members of his compatriots, he made the ultimate sacrifice for Queen and Country, killed during his third tour of military service in Afghanistan, 16th June 2011.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
“The 100 Peaks Challenge will be an exceptional endurance event testing both the physical and mental fitness and resilience of those taking part. When I first heard about this challenge, I was keen to support it. Please join me in supporting this outstanding Charity Challenge and those participating in it”.
WHAT WAS THE 100 PEAKS CHALLENGE?
On the 23rd May 2017 a Challenge Team embarked on a life defining journey. The Goal was simple, the Task, Monumental, the Reason, Inspirational...
The Challenge took place, starting at Inverness in Scotland, on the 23.05.17, (the day Lloydy deployed on his last tour) and finished on Pen Y Fan on 16.06.17 (the day he was killed).
The Challenge originally was to hike 100 Peaks in the UK, all above 610m (2000ft) - 45 in Scotland, 25 in England (The Lake District), 1 on the Isle of Man and 29 in Wales (Snowdonia & The Brecon Beacons). The Challenge began in Scotland, before intending to head across to the Isle of Man, crossing the Irish Sea in sea kayaks. Aiming to cross the Irish Sea for a second time back to the Isle of Whithorn to then cycle on to the Lakes. The final leg in Wales began in Snowdonia and culminated with cycling from Capel Curig to the Brecon Beacons finishing with the 'Fan Dance' at the Summit of Pen Y Fan.
However, one thing you can't plan on is the weather, and sadly the kayak crossings to the Isle of Man had to be pulled due to an insufficient weather window, that meant the team could make the crossing in both directions safely.
The weather during the course of the Challenge played a massive factor and of course it's the one thing we couldn't control.
With the kayak crossing, despite the day of the first crossing looking ok, the weather window was so small that if we didn't make good time getting to the island and getting up and down Snaefell quickly we would have been potentially on the island until 9/10th June, bar a ferry crossing which would have cost £600.00. Sadly that became a no brainer.
The weather though played the biggest havoc on the cycle tours and transitions. Only 3 of the planned 8 rides survived the plan, the Tour of The Lakes had to be shelved completely due to the weather. All in all we lost nearly 350 miles & 50,000ft of elevation on the bike due to the weather.
The weather though try that it did, had little impact on the hills, despite making it extremely tough underfoot, very wet and a constant battle in high winds. Our resolve was tested, it wasn't found wanting.
The longest day was 13.75 hrs taking in 12 Peaks in The Lakes, 24 miles were covered that day in the hills, ascending 12,812ft and descending 11,841!
All in all the Team hit 120,000ft in Elevation Gain (just over 4 x the height of Mount Everest) of which 91,000 of that was over the course of 15 days in the hills! Actual Peak Count was 43 in Scotland (inc. 18 Munros), 31 in England and 26 in Wales.
Although the Challenge didn't quite go according to plan, the plan was always to bag 100 Peaks and not to yield!
Despite that hiccup the Challenge was a genuine attempt at something quite epic. It still encompassed two disciplines that are demanding enough on their own, that were then thrown together in an extreme duathlon. This, with the logistics of attempting to summit 100 Peaks in 4 countries in 25 days, means it was a first.
Karl hoped when he put the Challenge together that it would be the most demanding endurance Challenge ever staged in the UK (given the logistics and the timescale), had the sea crossings been permitted we'd wager it most definitely would have been.
Irrespective the memories and tribute made will last a lifetime, The 100 Peaks Gallery offers a snapshot into the non mortal-peril moments!