On Saturday 22nd September keepers and staff from Africa Alive! set off, along with their friends, on a big challenge – to walk each of the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, all in just 36 hours – to raise money for the Zoological Society of East Anglia’s chosen charity “SAVE THE RHINO”.
The “three peaks challenge” means climbing against the clock to the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland – the tallest of the three mountains, at 1,345 metres (4,413 feet) in height – followed by 978 metres (3,209 feet) high Scafell Pike in England, and finally Mount Snowdown in North Wales, at 1,085 metres (3,560 feet).
The walkers included Amanda Lambert, Ruth Wallis, and their colleagues Ryan Sharp, Joel Beasley, Jonny Savil, Luke Goldsmith and Conner Holifield from Africa Alive!, and their friends Lee Brooks, Andy Watts, Becky Raider who had all trained extremely hard in their spare time, preparing themselves for the gruelling challenge and Stephen Burrill the mini bus driver who also works for Africa’s Alive! . They walked a total distance of 23 miles (37km) with a total ascent of 3064 metres (10,052 feet).
They left Africa Alive! very early on Saturday morning and started climbing Ben Nevis at 7am, finishing the climb at 1.40pm. They then drove to Scafell Pike for the second of the ascents which they completed overnight. Sunday was another early start for the team as they started their last climb, to the top of Snowdon, at 7.45am and completed the whole three peaks challenge in the space of 28 hours. This included a total of 460 miles of road travel, and climbing a total of approximately 11,000 vertical metres.
Amanda Lambert, Qualified Keeper at Africa Alive! who organised the trip for her colleagues and their friends, said “This is the hardest challenge that any of us have taken. Even Joel, who climbed Kilimanjaro for ZSEA in 2017, struggled with the pace we had to keep up with to walk three mountains in the time limit. After the Ben Nevis climb two walkers were injured – nothing serious, but they could not complete the rest of the climbs – and another two after the Scafel Pike climb. There were tears of joy and pain by the end and we never knew how hard it was going to be. Our guide Sam was fantastic and knew how to keep the morale up and kept us all going. I am so proud of all the team even though we were all tired and sore on the journey home, we were already planning the next adventure, so watch this space!”
So far they have raised over £2000 which will go directly towards the £25,000 target that ZSEA is trying to raise for their chosen charity “SAVE THE RHINO”, supporting the brilliant work out in the field to save these endangered mammals.