Newcastle Agrics: We climbed three mountains in just over 24 hours for our friend

It was in memory of Rob Stephenson

On August the 31st 2016, a group of 11 students (mostly Newcastle Agrics) put down the trebles and picked up their walking boots. We climbed the highest mountains in England, Scotland, and Wales, in just over 24 hours, as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge.

24 miles of walking, a vertical climb of 10,000 feet and 460 miles of driving in just over a day makes a 9-5 office job sound like heaven.

The team for our Three Peaks Challenge

It was tough. Really tough. Tough as in red raw blisters, aching calves, dead thighs, squashed toes, knees feeling as if they were about to implode, and next to no sleep.

We knew it was going to be a challenge (the clue was in the name), but what we didn’t expect was the weather to be so absolutely horrific.

At the top of Ben Nevis it was 2°C with windchill, we had about three metres visibility, strong winds, horizontal rain, and it was getting dark quickly. I don’t think the weather could have been any worse.

After trying (and failing) to sleep for the 6 hour drive on our now damp and rancid smelling minibus, the last thing we wanted to do was get up, put our wet clothes and boots on, and climb Scafell Pike. But we did, and it was worth it. We could actually see when we got to the top this time, and the views were amazing.

Another four-hour drive, and we were at the foot of Snowdon, our final mountain. It was windy at the bottom, and the wind got ten times worse at the top. Despite this, Snowdon was probably my favourite to climb, maybe it was the views, or maybe it was because I knew I didn’t have another mountain to climb after.

Descending Snowdon, our final mountain.

So why did we do it?

We completed this challenge for a fantastic charity, The Rob Stephenson Trust, and it was completely worth it.

Rob (‘Swede’) and the rest of the Agric rugby team, front row, 4th from the right.

Rob was an Agric at Newcastle University, who tragically lost his life while on a night out with friends at the end of March this year. He was the most genuine guy, and such a big character; no one had a bad word to say about him. He has left a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who knew him, from home, sports clubs, and university.

‘Swede’, bottom right, with his housemates.

In his memory, The Rob Stephenson Trust has been set up by his family.

The charity, whose motto is ‘Laugh, Live, Learn, Play’, supports young people taking part in sport – kit and equipment has already been sent out to Brazil, Mongolia, Delhi, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone. Students can also apply for funding to help with books etc through Newcastle University.

If you’ve got a spare 3 minutes, give our video a watch, and if you fancy, donate to this brilliant cause!