Three challenges for the price of one! | Macro

Three challenges for the price of one!


By Victor Trujillo, Assistant Facilities Manager, Macro

The Youth Adventure Trust is a registered youth development charity working with vulnerable young people aged 11 to 14 years old from across Wiltshire and Swindon. It was established by David Hempleman-Adams and Major Richard Mitchell, both well known for their record-breaking Arctic, Antarctic and mountain climbing expeditions. They believe that early experiences of challenging themselves through the outdoors showed them what they could achieve; and that many young people often don’t have the opportunity to start the ‘believe – achieve’ process and make the most of their lives.  

To that end, they established the Youth Adventure Programme, an outdoor youth development course providing young people with the chance to try new things and to challenge themselves.  The programme enables them to experience success, learn to go beyond their own expectations and grow in confidence. 

It therefore stands to reason that if I was going to be involved in raising money for this charity, it was going to be an outward-bound type of experience!  I joined up with some of my colleagues at the client site to create a seven-strong team and competed in three main events: hiking, mountain biking and canoeing, otherwise known as ‘The Lakes Challenge’. 

On the first day we hiked the ‘Triple Crown’ which takes in three of England’s highest mountains: Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Kirk Fell – a total of 16k and 1651 metres of ascent.  After a delayed start due to the weather, we started our hike at 10:33am finishing 8 hours and 56 minutes later. Some of the other obstacles that challenged us were the stiff hills and the different fitness levels of the team. It became especially difficult when we were about a mile away from the camp site as we started to get leg cramps, however with the finish line in sight, we persevered as a team and completed the challenge. The evening wasn’t any better weather-wise as there was no respite from the cold and the rain all night. Added to that misery was our loudly snoring colleague who could be heard from the tent next door! 

On the second day we started with mountain biking, from Wasdale Head to Coniston Water. What was supposed to be a 27.7km ride, turned into 33.4km with 1135 metres of ascent.  It included three climbs, and each had sections where the bikes had to be carried or pushed. The terrain was too stiff to cycle up so at times it felt like we were just hiking with our bikes next to us. The descents were both fun and terrifying at the same time. I think we were all a bit surprised, especially me, as I hadn’t cycled in almost six years! We were very close to calling it quits halfway into the last climb but the motivation and encouragement from Abbas Suleiman (a colleague at the client site) kept everyone going. 

No sooner had we finished the biking, we were onto the 5k canoe event. This was the most enjoyable part of the challenge, as we knew we were only 5 km away from the finish line and somehow found the energy and enthusiasm to paddle as hard and quickly as possible so we could finally finish the challenge and rest. The canoeing took our combined time for the day to 9 hours and 50 minutes, with an overall time of 18 hours and 46 minutes. 

We’d beaten our target of to raise £3,000, achieved with generous donations via our Virgin Money page and a Bake sale event held in the office. 

As difficult as it was, I can honestly say that I had a great time doing it and if the opportunity arises, I would definitely do it again. 

Click here to find out more about the Youth Adventure Trust.