3 Peaks Challenge
RAF Waddington personnel have recently tackled a 3 peak climb in the desert and mountain ranges of Nevada, USA to raise funds for the RAF Charitable Trust.
A 4.30am start should have afforded the team some respite from the unforgiving sun and stifling heat, but having reached the summit of the smallest peak within 30 minutes, the temperature had already hit 90 degrees.
Following a hasty descent the team headed for the 2nd peak, a 2000ft, 4 ½ mile climb and descent at Red Rock Canyon – the steep terrain and loose rock putting everyone on guard. Arriving at the summit some 3 hours in to the climb, the team were now 6000ft above sea level and had the most challenging peak still ahead of them.
Fuelling up with caffeine and sweet pastries, courtesy of a small support team, the group headed off in their vehicles to the 3rd and final climb – a 4500ft ascent which took the team to just under 12000ft. In preparation for the long climb ahead they loaded up with a traditional English breakfast provided by the United Services Organisation. Post-bacon and egg and with spirits high the team began a steady climb to the top. Splitting into groups the stronger walkers surged ahead, negotiating the still present snow drifts. They reached the top a few hours later having been encouraged on by strategically placed support staff playing cheesy 80’s rock music (Eye of the Tiger!) and dishing out water and sweet goodies. The rest of the team continued to arrive throughout the afternoon and into early evening; the final walker arriving safely back at the base of the final summit at 7.45pm that evening.
All in all the team covered 24 miles of steep, loose terrain in a time of between 9 and 13 hours and raised over $2000 for the RAF Charitable Trust – just don’t ask about the state of their feet. Phew!!!