Day 21 Dawns For Hard Rock Challenge Team (full update)

Having done all the Hard Rock routes in the Lakes, the Hard Rock Challenge Team have moved to North Wales, making their base at the Snowdon Inn, see map and photo here, just outside Llanberis. Nicely timed to coincide with this weekends Gogarth Glorious First Festival.

Today will see Rich Mayfield and Mark Stevenson climbing The Grooves on Cyrn Las, with British bouldering and lead climbing champion, Gareth Parry. Friday it is Gogarth (Mousetrap, Gogarth, Big Groove and A Dream of White Horses), then hopefully Cloggy on Sunday (Great Wall, White Slab, Slanting Slab and Vember). James Pearson will be joining them for part of the Welsh section.

Last night they shared beers with Dave Birkett in the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Langdale after earlier completing, The Cracks and Kipling Groove on Gimmer in the afternoon, finishing just as the heavens opened and in the morning they fired off Totalitarian on Raven Crag, Thirlmere, the officially sanctioned (by Ken Wilson) replacement route for Deer Bield Buttress which fell down several years ago.

Yesterday they were also joined by Stephen Reid, one of two climbers to have climbed all the routes in Hard Rock and Alan Hinkes, the only Brit to have climbed the 14 8,000m peaks (photo). Stephen and Alan climbed the Cracks on Gimmer. The previous day it was Praying Mantis on Goat Crag with Chris Bonington.

Mark Stevenson writes, "Just to let everyone know that Chris made short work of the strenuous crux of Praying Mantis, over 43 years after he made the 2nd ascent of the route! He's amazing, great company to climb with and still as fit as ever leading the way on the steep scramble and walkout from Goat Crag."

Mark and Rich have now completed 36 out of the 60 routes, in 20 days. There is 15 days left with 24 routes left to do, five of which are in Scotland where they were rained off earlier.

Let's not forget that Mark and Rich are also attempting to raise funds for Mountain Rescue in the UK. If you see them make sure you give them a donation or buy a T-shirt off them. You can also donate online at their websites and blog. Here's Mark with his collection tin in the Old Dungeon Ghyll see photo, where most climbers had heard of their challenge and gave generously.

The Hard Rock Challenge Blog:
The Hard Rock Challenge Website:

If you are travelling about keep your eyes peeled for the Hard Rock Challenge's home on wheels, christened, Cheryl, see photo.

Make sure you honk your horn if you spot them.

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2 Aug, 2007
2 Aug, 2007
Sam said that so far they have travelled 3,100 miles, which was their original estimate for the whole Challenge. Mark and Rich are doing incredibly well. Obviously getting supremely fit, although Rich did say that the Scottish routes were the hardest so far, as Birkett says you have to add on a grade for the walk-ins and big atmosphere in Scotland. Quite an inspiration, especially for those who don't get out because of bad weather. They have done so much inspite of the bad summer we are having. They are climbing very efficiently as a team and they managed the Cracks and Kipling Groove in the time it took Hinkes and Reid to do the Cracks. I'm sure we all know how exhausting a full weekends cragging can be, hard to imagine 35 days on the trot. Mick
2 Aug, 2007
I had 2 days as a hard rocker and can vouch that I was kernakered after - and I didn't even get to climb (well a sneaky boulder at the end of Saturday at Stanage) ..mind you getting up at 6.30 the next day to make food for the team whilst they had a well deserved rest - was fairly tiring... ;0) Keep going lads and proove me wrong and tick em all - keep ratling the tin Mark!! Si
2 Aug, 2007
Bummer that we missed the Peak District leg of the HRC (we were in Galway) but good effort chaps. I'm sure you'll do it!
2 Aug, 2007
I'm off again this weekend to meet the team in Wales. Rich said that I'm only allowed up if I bring more cakes ... Pavlov eat your heart out! Anyway, please put your hand in your pocket and make a donation to Mountain Rescue. The whole team have been working really hard (Sam and Si are the unsung heros) and too few people have actually been donating. Keep on reading the blog :o)
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