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Lake District 24 Peaks Challenge

By Debbie Thrower

This year’s challenge, the most demanding yet, is to walk up 24 peaks, each over 2,400 feet, in 24 hours, covering approximately 32 miles.

Some of the route follows well-defined ridges, but the height climbed and descended throughout the challenge is significant. The route includes many of the more famous peaks, such as Red Pike, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Great Gable.  The challenge will be undertaken over the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday, 18th May 2014.

Day One – Negotiating 10 of the peaks, covering approx 18 miles.

Day Two – Another long day of negotiating the remaining 14 peaks, covering approximately 14 miles.

The total height climbed is over 13,000 feet.

Eight brave challengers set out on this demanding mountain challenge, Stephen Thrower, Jamie Eggleton, Julian & Clare Howard, Emi Bennett, Simon Tidd, Stephen ‘Stan’ Stanforth and Gavin Buff.  On the Friday they travelled to Winfell Forest Centre Parcs which was to be their base for the next two days.

They set off at 5.00 am on Saturday morning to arrive at the start of Gategarths Farm (Buttermere) enabling them to set off to the first peak at 6.00 am.  The first peak was Red Pike1 then on to High Stile2 and High Crag3.  The challengers knew that finding the best route to Green Gable4 was imperative so they finally decided that straight up and over was the best.  They reached Great Gable5 which is roughly half way, tied and weary.   From this point they could see the difficult traverse of the corridor route which lay before them, then big one Scafell Pike.  First they had to climb Lingmell6, then they reached Scafell Pike7 the challengers had a rest and food while taking in the fantastic views.  They then completed Great End8, Esk Pike9 then moving at a steady pace to the ominous Bow Fell10 and then down the long tortious path dropping the 3,000ft required to reach Stool End Farm around 7pm.  Day One – 10 Peaks in 13 hours, 17.5 miles and around 8,000ft had been achieved.  As they gathered at the end it became apparent that they were all in a bad way and suffering, ankles, calves and quads had been battered.

The following day Stephen and Stan started at 10 am, they both agreed to miss out the first five peaks and start at Dollywaggon Pike11 Their legs where very stiff and painful to start but gradually loosened up.  The views throughout the day in the centre of the lakes were stunning.  They walked onto Nethermost Pike12, then Helvellyn13, Lower Man14, White Side15, Raise16, Stybarrow Dodd17, Watson Dodd18 and FINALLY Great Dodd19 to Grovebeck Fold and Finish.  Day Two – 9 Peaks in 8 hours, 9.5 miles and around 4,000ft.

Our charity we have chosen for this challenge is the East Anglian Air Ambulance, providing Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) across the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.   From these two bases, a patient anywhere in the region can be reached in around 13 minutes.

To read more about this challenge and what is involved, please click

A big thank you to Dom McCallum, our amazing support driver, and our support group, who went along, too. Not forgetting our wonderful sponsors: Richard at V&J Knitwear for providing the challenge tee-shirts, Steve at Robson Construction, and Ian at Howard Hire for our transport and fuel.

Also, many, many thanks to all those who continually support us and those who have donated so generously.

The amount raised for this challenge is £1100.00.

Presentation – On Sunday 1st February 2015 at Gayton Social Club we met Colin Moles representing the East Anglian Air Ambulance and presented him with their cheque.

L-R Dom McCallum, Julian Howard, Stephen Thrower, Pat McCallum, Debbie Thrower, Emi Bennett, Colin Moles, Stephen Stanforth and Simon Tidd