23 hours of walking
60 kilometres covered
4357 metres of ascents
Age range of 5 to 74 years old
Raising over £1600 for charity
Wales has an incredible 15 peaks over 600 metres; so technically mountains. To reach the summits involves inclines of varying challenge, scrambling, some climbing and a few narrow paths with stomach churning sheer drops. When the fog and cloud clears, the stunning views are worth the effort and the risk.
When the idea of the challenge was proposed to the akarmalife community, as a way to celebrate our upcoming 10 year anniversary, there was overwhelming response. Twenty four people ranging from 5 to 74 years of age participated over the three days. With a large core group doing all three days and a few others opting for one or two of the days.
Completing 13 peaks is an impressive accomplishment and hours of planning, pre-event training, kit compiling and logistics were needed to ensure everyone was 'mountain ready'. The group was fortunate to have amongst them, experienced mountaineers to support the challenge, but it was the community spirit of the whole group that prevailed. And this is really what akarmalife is about; community. So here it is, sharing in their words what they learned on and off the mountains...
"I learnt that I should believe in myself more, and that hard work and perseverance pays off. I also fell in love with the mountains and could definitely see myself doing something similar again. It is amazing to be part of such a lovely supportive community." Sam
"Take the moment to truly appreciate where you are and how lucky you are to be doing it - no matter how hard or how much it hurts, many would give anything to be able to experience that and would gladly take the pain or discomfort in getting there. And if all else fails, grit your teeth, put your head down, and chat nonsense to someone until you've forgotten about it." James
"I discovered how much stronger and fitter I am than I thought I was. To enjoy and be proud of what I achieve; not to beat myself up because I don't achieve everything I set out to do. How amazing it is to be up in the mountains, especially when you can see the views below and beyond, and how invigorating it is to share the experience with a group with such warmth and generosity of spirit." Thelma
"For once, I’m quite speechless! The experience was so much more than I ever imagined it to be. We walked and laughed together and created the most awesome memories. Feel blessed to be a part of this event and the akarmalife community." Jayne
"I've learnt that I get as much pleasure, if not more, witnessing people complete their goals rather than completing my own goals." Keith
"I learned that you can use mountain climbing as a great metaphor for life in general, it may get tough, you may get tried and want to give up, but it always gets easier eventually and hard work pays off in the end (with the views at the top)." Hollie
"Humbled as ever by the mountains. Always something to learn. Fitness great. Feet issues poor. Also reiterated how much I have missed being in nature and surrounded by those who feel the same." Stuart
"Physical strength and fitness is only part of the puzzle. Keeping a rational and calm head in unfamiliar and potentially hazardous environments carries equal if not more importance." Chris
"I’d forgotten just how much I adore being in the mountains. Such a joy to be alive! The beauty, the splendour, the peacefulness and calm, the thrill and the exhilaration, the sense of achievement. And all in such wonderful and positive company. I feel refreshed and renewed." Steve P
"How much team spirit and comraderie can be for motivation and drive. Everyone had moments that were down in the dumps but as a unit we picked them up, dusted them off and made even those more trepidatious moments something to hold on to and cherish. I also learnt the beauty of being in nature. I’m still in awe of some amazing views and spectacle we witnessed." Ben
"You are a truly awesome bunch of people. I learnt I need to have greater confidence in my physical ability and fitness, to grasp opportunities. I could have missed out on so much if I hadn't said yes to giving this a go. And reiterated how much I love the mountains and being outdoors." Catherine
"I knew we were a good bunch, but spending more time with everyone has really confirmed what I already thought - supportive, encouraging, committed, funny, kind, caring and genuine. akarmalife - a great place to work, to look after mind and body, and to socialise. Aren’t we lucky!" Annalisa
"Mountains are still my happy place and it's not where you go, but who you go with. Being part of the akarmalife commmunity, there are people from all walks of life that you may not have encountered otherwise. We all came together to motivate each other to push a little harder and walk a little further to each summit to witness the stunning views. 100% fab from start to finish #alwaysmountainready" Nadine
"Never compete with anyone else but yourself. It’s the journey you go to reach your goal - it’s never about the Instagram shot! To chat to all those people with humbling stories supporting amazing charities was what the mountain was for me." Marion
"I learnt that the akarmalife community is positively portable , we can be lifted from the studios and deposited on a mountain and nothing changes, we remain supportive, inclusive, transparent and permanently positive irrespective of location and environmental challenges." John
"How much I draw strength from being part of such a kind and diverse community of inspiring people." Claire
St John's is sadly close to our hearts as so many of our community are affected by cancer in life-limiting ways. Giving a special shout out in memory of Chris Janes, long time member of the akarmalife community and outdoor enthusiast who no doubt would have joined us on this challenge. He passed away on 7 May 2021.