They set this challenge in order to raise money for Restart Africa, an orphanage in Gilgil, Kenya with whom the RSSH have had close links for several years. In total, they would need to make at least 68 ascents of the Wrekin to achieve their aim (the 1.5-mile track from the car park at the bottom to the summit gains 237m in altitude), meaning many of the group would need to climb it four times!
We agreed that we would all stick together on the first ascent, and after that we would do things at our own pace, knowing that this would really test us and that some would manage a quicker pace than others.
For most of the climb we could see only a few metres ahead of us, such was the thickness of the fog that enveloped the hill. With no views to greet us at the top, we had a quick photo and set off back down again, knowing we had only managed a fraction of the total amount we would need to climb to achieve our goal.
After the second ascent, the legs really started to burn and it was tough putting one foot in front of the other. Many felt at the end of three ascents that they could do no more, but a hardy few snaffled a couple of biscuits and some jelly babies before managing to push on for a fourth climb, bravely battling the lactic acid in their calves.
In a quite Herculean effort, the total ascent managed was 16,827m (about 10.5 miles), with 71 climbs completed in all. By doing so, the club smashed their target of £2,000 raised for Restart Africa, with some donations still to come in. It will be great to visit the orphanage next month (18 pupils and three staff set off on the RSSH East Africa Tour on 9th December) to see where that money will be spent, and meet some of the people who keep this wonderful charity going.
Well done to everyone who completed the challenge, and thank you to the many people who donated money for such an excellent cause.
Teacher in Charge of the Hunt