The RAJA team have been busy! Over a previous weekend, members of our sales and IT teams set off from RAHA HQ to sunny Wales and spent a day climbing Mount Snowdon in memory of Andy Scaplehorn, a dear friend and colleague who battled against cancer last year. The team were well up for the challenge despite some early set-backs.
On the evening of the trip down, disaster struck – the coach broke down on a bridge and the team needed to unload all of the luggage and all of the food and carry it for an hour to the accommodation for the night. Not to mention, needing to go back to get the coach free afterwards so that the way was clear. After all of that work, they still needed to prepare food for the evening and for the hike in the morning to come.
Come morning they set off with everything they would need to make the climb (save for one pair of walking shoes which by necessity were replaced by trainers) and met with Dean Harris, a local guide who showed them the route and gave them a safety briefing to ensure the challenge would be done in the safest way possible. The teams decided to head up the notorious Pyg Track which is renowned as the most difficult route possible and a true challenge for the group.
It was here that they split into three groups based on how quickly each member felt they could get to the top. Team 1, lead by the intrepid Aarron Browne as captain, consisted of Kieran Fay, Aaron Oakes, Steven Esler, Ollie Wood and our M.D, Tom Rodda. And, true to form, this group ended up reaching the top a full hour ahead of the 3rd group and took some time to pose for photos.
Team 2, which was lead by Captain Shaun Fox, consisted of Hannah Wade, Elisha Cuthbert, Jess Pursey, Andrew Mayhead, Tom Smith, Melissa Nicholls, Holly Iles and Jasmine Barnett. The biggest group followed Team 1 and found their way up a short while later after a gruelling hike. And bringing up the rear was Team 3, headed up by Saskia McShane as team captain, featured Mandy Radford, Lewis Day, Gary Naphtali and the guide, Dean Harris.
This third group had the roughest time of it and was having some difficulty so, in a show of solidarity, members of group 1 went back down the trail and helped bring Team 3 to the top. Team spirit trumped competitive streak and the final push to the summit was made by everyone and immortalised in the photo we have here.
The route down was split into two, the majority of the team went down the Llanberis’ path, the most popular route, while a few followed the more historic Miner’s Track. A tougher path, but it lead back down to the same destination and culminated in the group re-joining at the Heights. The Heights, a pub at the foot of the mountain, for some well deserved rest and recovery before heading back to the accommodation.
Back at the hostel, the mountaineers enjoyed dinner and spent some time to appreciate the journey and all the effort they put in before taking a moment to remember the reason why they made this trek – the memory of Andy Scaplehorn who sadly passed away last year.
Andy was always up for a challenge, and the first to volunteer for any fundraising events. We wanted to keep his memory alive and challenged the team to walk the mountain. Initially, the plan was to send five people but it quickly ballooned to 20 with everyone eager to help. In addition to the challenge of the hike, we were also raising funds for the Garden House Hospice Care who supported Andy and his family when they needed it the most. Over the course of the walk, RAJA raised almost £2,500 for the hospice care and have continued to fund raise with other activities since then.
Everyone who joined the challenge had a great time and there are already discussions about repeating the walk next year! Well done to everyone involved!