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24 peaks in 24 hours for Encore

Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Helvellyn were all conquered as the footsore team completed the 24 Peaks Challenge, described by director Ian Briers as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life”.

The team began with a 2477ft ascent of Bowfell, near Wasdale, and made excellent progress to climb 3 peaks in the first 3 hours in a mix of mist, cloud and occasional sunshine. Progress slowed as the going got tougher but the team still completed 9 peaks in 10.5 hours at which point Briers describes himself as “exhilarated but beginning to feel the strain!”

As sore knees, old injuries and asthma took their toll on a couple of the walkers were forced to retire a few hours short of the finish while the others ploughed forward up steep ascents and equally steep descents.

After 21 hours the final three peaks were literally in sight and the team completed the challenge with 90 minutes to spare before retiring back to Keswick for a “well-earned pint or two” says Briers.

“It was an extremely gruelling challenge, physically and mentally, but I think for everybody that took part there was a great sense of satisfaction in taking part and raising money for such worthy causes. We all took a long soak in a bath that night but despite the aching limbs and joints I think everybody thought it was worth it. Now we’ve just got to think about how we top this with an even bigger challenge next year!”

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