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Three Peaks, Three Years.

On 1st October 2016, Amanda Smith along with 28 of her female friends climbed Snowdon in memory of her Husband David who lost his three-year battle against Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 37, leaving Amanda and two young daughters behind.

Twenty-eight women, 28 small bottles of Prosecco and one brave male mountaineer from Anglesey, embarked on the challenge of climbing the first peak – Snowdon. The day before was glorious sunshine, the day after was glorious sunshine, on the day of the walk it was cold and wet, with limited visibility! It was the first mountain many of the group had ever climbed and therefore it was tough but after 6 hours the full team completed the challenge.  This was the start of the 3 Peaks Challenge and the start of an amazing example of women working together both physically and emotionally to achieve great things.  On the first peak challenge they raised £3419.33.

On 8th July 2017, Amanda was again joined by 21 fantastic female friends, 21 small bottles of Prosecco and one brave male from Anglesey who knew the mountain well, to take on the second peak – Scafell Pike the highest mountain in England – 978m above sea level located in the beautiful Lake District National Park in Cumbria. The weather was much kinder to them, if a little too hot, making the climb challenging for very different reasons. They reached the summit and were rewarded with a massive sense of achievement and outstanding views across Cumbria. On the second peak challenge they raised another £2069.51

On 5th May 2018, on what would have been Amanda and David’s 11th Wedding Anniversary, I was invited by the same brave male from Anglesey to Amanda’s 18 female friends, to take on the biggest challenge of them all – the tallest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Set in the highlands of Scotland, close to Fort William, it stands 1,344 metres above sea level.   This for Amanda was the final piece of the jigsaw in completing 3 peaks in 3 years in memory of her husband.



During the weeks prior to the final peak attempt the ‘Beast from the East’ had ensured plenty of snow cover for the last few hundred meters and the unusually cold weather had lingered, which meant the mountain was particularly challenging and we didn’t know when we set off whether we would reach the summit.  Paul from Anglesey and myself had summited Ben Nevis many times before and knew it would be a challenge with several of the group having never climbed a mountain (not all ladies had completed the first two ‘practise’ peaks) so we knew this may be a challenge too far.  En route several of the group members were struggling and thought they may have to give up but once again the power of the group kicked in and they continued.  Conditions at 1,000 meters were worse than expected with thick snow, gusting winds (approx. 40 – 50 mph), freezing temperatures and very limited visibility, however with some careful navigation and the grit and determination to finish what they’d started, all members of the group made it to the summit.  After a very quick celebratory glass of bubbly, we packed up and returned to base.  Funds raised to date on Amanda Smith’s Just Giving page for the final peak challenge have reached £3140.00.

To me this was not so much an amazing story because a group of women summited the 3 peaks over 3 years but more because it was a great example of how when women work together in this way they provide the most amazing support network, in this case, to help another women deal with the most difficult challenge of them all – losing a husband and father to two young daughters and perhaps the support and friendship of Amanda’s female friends, who all met ‘at the school gate’ will encourage Amanda’s daughters to be supportive/collaborative women in the future.  I’m sure all members of She Network will be able to relate to this wonderful example of women working together for the common good.

Total raised for Marie Curie Hospice from the 3 Peaks Challenge = £8628.84

Story by Jane Brown, Conwy.


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