SOA at the Top of the UK
By Antony Reynolds on Jul 14, 2009
As part of the three peaks challenge which I completed this week the Oracle team were challenged to get a picture of someone reading Matt and my book - the SOA Suite Developers Guide -on top of each peak. Thought I would share the story and the pictures with you.
The objective of the three peaks challenge is to walk up the highest peak in each of England, Scotland and Wales in a single 24 hour period.
Peak 1 - Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest peak of the three at 1344m. We started our ascent at 5pm on Friday and reached the summit by 7:30pm. As can be seen on the picture of myself and Neil Spink reading the SOA Suite book, weather at the top was clear so that we could see for miles. The weather was hot and sunny and I struggled a little on the way down but we were all off the mountain by 9:45pm and on the road to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, not far from my brother-in-laws house. We left for Scafell at 9:51pm.
Peak 2 - Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike in England is the smallest of the three peaks at 978m. We arrived at 3:32am, just as the sky was lightening up in the east. The moon was also very bright with little cloud cover so we had no problem seeing our route and we reached the summit by 5:30am just as the sun was rising above the surrounding peaks of the Lake District. There was little cloud about and Daniel Roberts and myself could easily see the book at the top. We were all back down the mountain by 7:17pm and on the road to Snowdon. Our drivers might have been controlling 17 seater mini-buses, but to the occupants we felt like we were participating in a particularly tough rally as we wound our way out through the tortuous lanes on our way to North Wales.
Peak 3 - Snowdon
The final peak, Snowdon, is the tallest mountain in England and Wales at 1,085m and was challenging in two ways. When we arrived at 11:50am we had already spent more than 8 hours on mountains and more than 11 hours crammed into what seemed to be a shrinking mini-bus, so we were not at our most energetic. Also at Snowdon the weather was failing and it was beginning to rain. However arrival at Snowdon energised us and within a minute of arrival we were striking out towards the mountain. The initial approach up the Pyg Track was fairly easy going, with just a scramble at the end to reach the summit by 1:45pm. The summit was cloudy and wet so no-one wanted to hang around for long, especially myself and Andy Gale who found the book rather damp going. The descent was also very quick, using the Miners Track to drop down off the mountain very rapidly, followed by what felt like a long run/walk around the mountain back to the start point. We had all arrived back by 4:02pm, meaning that as a group we completed the challenge in 23 hours and 2 minutes.
Special thanks must go to our drivers, Colin, James, Martin and Jackie who got us between peaks rapidly and safely. I was very appreciative of Andy Gale who made sure I kept pace on Scafell Pike and Snowdon. Finally the determination award must go to Neil Spink who despite blisters and damaged knees climbed Snowdon and completed the challenge.
Apart from wanting to show that we were not all over the hill (most of us were well over 40!) we also wanted to raise money for the NSPCC. We are still a few hundred pounds shy of raising £10,000 for this charity so please feel free to go to my justgiving page and sponsor me.
The following is from a GPS tracker we took with us.
Ben Nevis - start at 51m, Top 1,347m (include the trig point I guess), distance 15.1km or 9.38 miles
Scafell Pike - start at 29m, Top 985m, distance 9 km or.5.59 miles
Snowdon - Lowest Point 376m, Top 1,088m , distance 12.4 KM or 7.7miles
Total Climb = 1296 + 956 + 712 = 2,964m or 9,724 ft
Total Distance = 22.67miles