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On Saturday 5th October K2’s Executive Business Director, Richard Rutledge, and members of the K2 team took on the challenging Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge 25 mile hike. Joining the Aon global mobility team, their aim was to raise important funds for the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

What did it involve?

Richard Rutledge explains exactly what the K2/AON team undertook:

“The Yorkshire Three Peaks route is 24 miles (38.6km) and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent. It takes on the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres) in under 12 hours! The peaks form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

On Friday we arrived in Ribblesdale. There was an evening briefing session with the organisers and equipment check in preparation for the long hike ahead. On Saturday we set out early. Following our chosen route, we climbed Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough before making our final descent back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale.”

How did they do? 

Miranda Barras-Smith recounts:

“With a very early start on Saturday morning, backpacks full to the brim with bananas, spare socks and energy bars we were feeling both nervous but excited at what was to come.

We commenced the walk at Pen-y-Ghent, setting off at sunrise. Reaching the first peak was tough as the climb was immediate and involved some dicey sections over a cliff edge to the top, known as ‘the wall’. Out of breath and legs a little wobbly, we took a celebratory quick swig of water and pressed on to the next peak – Whernside, sitting at 2415 ft.

To reach peak two there was a hard ten-mile walk but thankfully the beautiful setting and cool but dry weather kept us going. The second peak ascent was slightly easier than the first, not as steep but very high. It was a steady approach to the summit but pretty bleak at the top. Apparently, on a clear day it is possible to see the famous Blackpool Tower – we didn’t.

The descent down Whernside was tough on the knees, with very undulating ground. Walking poles where shared out and came in handy to provide some stability.

Post peak two, six hours had passed and fatigue had set in. This, mixed with the view of the final peak – Ingleborough – directly in front of us, as well as the real possibility of finishing in the dark, was starting to cause some doubts as to whether we could do it, but  we all pressed on.

Ingleborough was long and got gradually steeper the nearer we got to the summit. In some areas we were using our hands and feet to climb up the steep zigzagged rock and it took all of our strength to get to the top. Everyone felt pretty elated reaching the final summit, however coming back down to the finish was a challenging four hour slog. The last hour seemed to go on and on – but what a sight to be greeted with at base camp – a pub! After a long 10 hours over arduous terrain, we enjoyed a celebratory drink with a collective sense of pride for what we had finally achieved.

The team spirit and camaraderie between everyone made the event such a positive success, another great year undertaking a challenge in partnership with Aon.”

How you can support the K2/Aon team

Richard comments: “This was a huge honour for K2 and we are delighted to have participated with the Aon team. We’d like to thank all who participated, our partners at Aon, the walk organisers, Maximum Adventure, and most importantly all who donated to our wonderful charity, the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

We hope to raise as much money as possible for these terrific causes, between Aon and K2 we have raised over £3k. If you would like to sponsor us further though, it’s not too late here.

We now steel ourselves for further challenges in 2020 where we hope to organise a big K2 fundraising walk in the spring, as well as another Aon/K2 challenge for September.”

K2’s long-standing relationship with the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

As part of our global charitable fundraising and CSR, each of K2’s regional offices have adopted a charity that they support that creates benefit to the community that they work within. K2 Europe has been a long-term fundraiser for the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. So far, we have raised over £43,000 to support them.

The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness to make the most of their time together. Each family is paired with an expert family support worker who provides practical and emotional support to all members of the family, where they need it, for as long as they need it. When everything is turned upside down, a dedicated family support worker becomes a trusted and constant person in family life.

Our current target of £3000 would enable the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity to provide 116 hours of support.

Here is how your donations could help:

  • £26 pays for an hour of practical and emotional support, helping the family to make the most of their precious time.
  • £182 pays for a day’s visit from a family support worker, allowing parents to leave the house or simply sleep.
  • £624 pays for an hour of weekly bereavement support for six months for a family from their family support worker.
  • £1780 is the average cost of a year’s support for a family with a seriously ill child.

All donations are very much appreciated.

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