On June 1 2018, the Learning People took on the 3 peaks challenge to raise £5000 for Loui Legend - a little boy born with Treacher-Collins syndrome.
The challenge consists of climbing the three tallest mountains on the British Isles - all in under 24 hours - a combined distance of 23 miles and a total ascent of over 10,000ft.
A little bit about Loui Legend
Loui was born on February 8 2015 at 12:48am. His condition was undiagnosed throughout the pregnancy, but there had been a completely random mutation of a gene at conception. This unfortunately caused Loui to be born with a condition called Treacher-Collins Syndrome. The chances of this are 1 in 50,000.
Treacher-Collins syndrome is very cruel and affects the development of the bones and other tissues of the face. The signs and symptoms of this disorder vary greatly, ranging from almost unnoticeable to severe. Loui's case is unfortunately very severe so because of the small size of his chin he's had to have a tracheostomy in order to breathe.
He has a lifetime of hospital trips, procedures and operations yet most of the corrective surgery cannot be done until he's an adult and fully grown. Due to the severity of Loui's condition, he requires 24 hour care. If his tracheostomy was to come out, he would be in great danger - it would be seconds before he would struggle to breathe, risking his brain health and his life.
We are fundraising to help with Loui's care. We want to support Loui and his family as they battle to help him lead a normal life.
The Three Peaks Challenge
Friday 5am - Team LP met in the work car park. Not many good stories start in a work car park, but this one does...
We loaded the van and hopped in - ready for our adventure to the Scottish highlands.
Friday 3pm - Arrived at Muthu Royal Hotel in Tyndrum. In true Learning People style, we popped to the local inn for a few beers to steady the nerves.
Saturday 3:30am - Set off for Ben Nevis, which was just over an hour away from our hotel. There was a tense atmosphere as we weaved through the winding roads, looking at all the smaller mountains on the way. Naturally we dispelled our anxieties by blasting The Proclaimers and singing as loudly as we could.
Saturday 5:30am - Ben Nevis
We got hiking up Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The views were absolutely stunning and made the brutal climb worth the struggle. We encountered a bit of snow as we reached the summit, but for the most part the weather was very kind to us. We completed all 8 miles, reaching an altitude of 4,409ft in 4 hours. Team LP finished Nevis feeling really proud and were buzzing that we were still on track to hit our 24 hour target. With little Loui still at the forefront of our minds, we embarked on the journey to the next mountain - Scafell Pike.
Saturday 10am - 6 hour drive to Scafell Pike. Hats off to our Team LP drivers, Mark and Pete, who kept up morale and delivered us safely from point to point whilst dodging the many sheep that were determined to block our path.
Saturday 4pm - Scafell Pike
We rocked up to find that the beautiful Lake District scenery was marred by a thick layer of fog. At this point we knew we needed to get our heads down and smash this one out to keep us in good time. We finished in 3 hours 45 mins, reaching heights of 3210 ft.
Saturday 8pm - We got back in our trusty van and headed to Wales. The drive took around 5 hours including a few roadside wee stops.
Saturday 1am - Snowdon
We popped our head torches on and started up the Pyg track at Snowdon. At this point our navigator, Jonno, was wrapped in fairy lights and resembled a christmas tree. This was by far the most challenging mountain, mainly due to the lack of sleep and darkness. On the way up we were clinging to the side of the path, desperately avoiding the edge which we assumed was a sheer drop. On the way back as the sun came up, we realised that this sheer drop was in fact a grassy hill that looked like something out of the teletubbies. Our energy gels and lucozade sports were out in full force as we tackled the last mountain.
We got down with 45 minutes to spare, completely knackered and aching all over. Although we had jelly legs and all felt like we needed knee replacements, we were absolutely elated that we'd done it in 24 hours - a combination of great teamwork, some serious grit and the knowledge that we were doing it for an incredible cause.