The Three Peaks Challenge: Fundraising for the Buddhist Centre
In preparation for this year’s Yorkshire Three Peaks fundraising challenge, Buddhasamagama writes about his experience of supporting the 2019 National Three Peaks challenge to raise money for the Buddhist Centre.
The Three Peaks Challenge is a massively popular mountain-climbing expedition that involves you climbing the tallest peaks in Wales, England, and Scotland (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis). The challenge is to reach the top of each mount and get back down to race to the next one within a set time frame of either 24 or 36 hours — sleeping in cars and dealing with whatever weather comes your way!
In 2019 a group of us from the Centre, led by the suitably energetic Peter Tristram, decided to take on the challenge. Peter decided we as a team were up to the more challenging of the asks and conquer all three in 24 hours.
My role in the team, along with Vishangka, was to drive the climbers to each mountain, a task we both found to be no less demanding than the actual climbing – the awesome responsibility of it all was daunting, with such a short period and a LOT of distance to travel, a wrong turn could have meant failure!
Because we were trying to do it in 24, rather than 36 hours, the route needed careful planning – so I went and bought a map.
No way back now!
We arranged everything ourselves, and allocated around five hours to complete Ben Nevis, four hours for Scafell Pike, and four hours for Snowdon. Then, just add eleven hours’ worth of driving to this and you get to around 24 hours with NO TIME to spare.
Mahabodhi, Taralocana and others set up a Zoom space where we checked in, received good-will from supporters back at the Buddhist Centre, and connected along various stages of our journey (my first experience of Zoom, who’d have thought we’d soon be using it almost every day?!)
Vishangka and I completed around 800 miles of driving within the 24 hours. Utterly exhausting. Utterly exhilarating. The experience of waiting for those half-way up a mountain to finish their climb and return to ‘base camp’, then us packing-up and driving to the next challenge turned on our adrenaline and kept us awake beyond what would have been usual!
When we drove down from Ben Nevis overnight to catch Mount Snowdon at 8 that morning, we saw a sign on the M6 which was the turn off for Manchester – I do believe we could’ve made it back home just in time for Northern Quarter cafes to open and have a lovely breakfast. Commitment drove us on though, and we arrived in Wales just in time for the mountain to raise its metaphorical shutters and open for the day.
Cut to the end of an exhausting, beautiful, bonding evening, night, and morning, (Vishangka and I had Vegetarian Haggis toastie for breakfast while everyone slept) we had finished Snowdon and headed home having raised £6k for the MBC.
My great lesson here was that fundraising is what you make of it. It’s not just about getting out your debit card and doing your ‘duty’, it’s an authentic experience that can bring joy and a connection to the cause, and what better cause than our Buddhist Centre?
Do you fancy a similar challenge? If you do, sign up to support or participate in the Yorkshire Three Peaks this summer. Email email@example.com to register your interest. Your generosity in keeping our Centre open and thriving will be massively appreciated!
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