Just Five days ago, both Marc and John were soaking up the continental Sun on their holidays. Cut to Sunday and they’re staring at the highest peak in South Wales, bracing themselves for the toughest day of training yet. The weather may not have been as hot as Spain or Italy but it was warmer than they anticipated once they began their ascent. Starting at 11am, the team of 8, including Marc, John, Deb, Carlie, Ellie and a helping hand from expedition leader Gary Parker set off up the mountain with two others. For the first time, all the Charity champions were present on the walk minus our supporter from Nation radio Lee Jukes (currently suffering from some medical issues).
At 886m, Pen y Fan is not only the highest peak in South Wales, but in Southern Britain as well. The effort required to reach the top is such that the mountain is used by the military as part of the selection process for the UK’s Special Forces personnel. The terrain of the National Trust owned land is challenging to say the least, with hundreds of gulleys across the walkway to the summit which presented an awkward obstacle for John in his chair. At three hours, the climb wasn’t the teams longest but Marc described it as the “toughest challenge yet”, not surprising as he was responsible for pulling John much of the way due to the gulleys. Even our expedition leader Gary Parker, who is leading the charity champions up Kilimanjaro, was pleasantly surprised the team got to the peak considering the weather was so humid.
The challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro is becoming all too real for the team as the Mountain is nearly 7 times higher than Pen y Fan. Expedition leader Gary Parker, of Club 7 Summits also said “The challenge presented by the Kilimanjaro terrain far outweighs that of Pen y Fan; the ground is rough and less adapted to walking let alone for a wheelchair”. The team continue to focus on their training, when it comes to the Kilimanjaro climb, some of the challenges John encountered should be overcome by his specially designed wheelchair which we’ll have more information on soon.
Our Fullcircle T-shirts clearly made an impression as we gained three donations from the trip up Pen y Fan. Leanne Jones donated £4 to John on the spot. Sandie Beynon donated £10 via justgiving and left us a message saying she was “Inspired to donate having seen you in training climbing up Pen y Fan today, wishing you all the best for your Challenge”. Heather Davies, who said “you guys are incredible! Wishing you all the very best for Kilimanjaro”, also donated £10 on justgiving, thank you all for your support.