fos4X supported Team Thales in their charity hike for the benefit of street children in need. Read Sabrina’s travel report here as a guest contribution:
Dear fos4X team,
the mission to climb the highest mountain in England, Wales and Scotland is complete. Last Thursday 43 teams started in Crewe – all to go to their limits for the good cause. The train was used especially for us – on almost 5m² each team “inhabited” its own little empire for the next 48h.
At our place “Cottage Pie” is served to us. I seriously wonder how this mini portion of British delicacy will get me over the mountain…?! Shortly before 22.00 o’clock we reach the foot of Snowdon’s (1085m). With headlamp and rain gear we start the first stage. With every step it gets darker, wetter, foggier, windier, colder and more uncomfortable. Some teams turn around – we walk on – to the summit and back again. My personal lesson: It’s worth investing in new batteries for the headlamp and an even better investment could be really waterproof rain gear. An incredibly bad cup of vending machine cocoa is waiting as a reward. I just want to go to my place, wet clothes out, dry on, toothbrush, sleeping bag, sleep. It is about 4.00 o’clock in the morning.
Around 7.30 am it gets turbulent again in the compartment: getting up, with a little luck finding a halfway clean and functioning toilet, hoping that most of the clothes are dry again. The breakfast consists of repeatedly impressive English specialties. Around 9 o’clock a small train brings us to the foot of Scafell’s (978m). It has stopped raining, we can almost imagine something like sunshine and are looking forward to stage number 2 in spite of little sleep. Passing typical English stone walls the path gets steeper and steeper. We fight bravely and still reach the second summit dry. The descent is quickly done, because this time neither hot drinks nor sticky burgers are waiting for us – this time fate has given us two first-class pubs at the station. There are freshly tapped pints and tasty chips. It is amazing how much we can all eat and drink within 2 hours. Shortly after 7 o’clock we leave the place of happiness. Around 11 o’clock we all sleep – shortly before 4 o’clock movements and noises of my fellow travellers announce a new day and thus an abrupt end of a quite mixed night.
It’s dark. Raindrops on the windows of the train don’t give a good idea. Shortly before 6 we have to conquer Ben Nevis (1345m). Rain, wind and a never ending ascent. I often wonder what we are doing here. It may sound like a cliché – but I keep telling myself that there are kids who are cold every day, who get wet every day, who maybe don’t get anything in their stomach, for whom no warm bed, no home, no family is waiting. We walk on – from the landscape we see little to nothing, because the never-ending drizzle is joined by well-known “friends”: Fog and cold. The descent rewards all efforts: fog and rain dissolve. The rugged beauty of the Scottish landscape stretches in all directions. It is Saturday around 11 o’clock when we reach the finish line and thus the end of our unusual challenge. Cold refreshments and a bottle or two of wine await us in the train. “Unfortunately” every pound goes to Railway Children and the return trip is long …
Once again a big, fat thank you for your support: 450 British Pounds is an amazing sum! I don’t know yet whether I’ll be back next year and climb the three highest mountains on the island. Maybe we can get a Mixed-Team Thales-fos4X?! But one thing is for sure: I will not forget this adventure and I will continue to work for people who are far less well off than we are.
Many greetings and hopefully see you very soon