Eve of the Four Peaks Challenge

This blog has remained very silent over the past few months. That’s been due to a combination of being incredibly busy working on Lotus Connections 2.5, which has been pretty much consuming my life, and also due to the fact that when I do get five spare minutes I tend to spend it updating Twitter, rather than composing long blog posts here.

Thursday sees us set off down to County Kerry to start the Focus Ireland Four Peaks Challenge. The actual walking starts off on Friday morning when we tackle Carauntoohill, the largest mountain in Ireland. That is followed by a 5-6 hour drive up to County Mayo. The following day we climb Mweelrea before another six hour journey up to Newcastle, Co. Down in Northern Ireland. Sunday morning sees an absurdly early start to climb Slieve Donard, before heading back down to County Wicklow to do Lugnaquilla on Sunday afternoon.

My training and preparation has been somewhat patchy thanks largely to the demands of work. I’ve deliberately not done any of the mountains we will be climbing, as part of the challenge for me is to do them for the first time. We did go out in January and got half way up Lug before I decided to turn around due to the horizontal blizzard and general white-out we faced! Other notable outings include a huge 23km trawl over four Wicklow mountain peaks which saw me get huge blisters after about an hour in and then struggle around the rest.

To be perfectly honest, I am not 100% confident of completing the whole challenge, but it will take a lot for me to give up at any point. Unless I am really, really slowing the team down I will carry on regardless. At the end of the day, in isolation, none of the walks are that physically challenging it is just putting them together and having all of the travelling in-between.

Talking of the travelling, that has been one of the major logistical nightmares of the challenge. The rules state we need two non-walking drivers for each car taken. That raised the issue of finding people who wanted to come along but not actually walk, as well as sorting out how many cars and who goes with who. In the end we are taking our car, and Lana is driving, along with a friend of one of the other climbers. The rest of the team are then in another car.

Unfortunately, the travel headache was further complicated by my car actually breaking down on our way back from a weekend in County Wexford on Monday. It has been fixed (alternator) but we now have to be up early on Thursday to drive down to Arklow to collect it, before coming back up to Dublin to then head off back down to Killarney! I think I’m going to up my recovery service membership just in case!

We’ve hit our sponsorship target, but if you wish to support us, and Focus Ireland, you can do so here.