Kubus take on the Brecon 10 Peaks Challenge
On Saturday 7th October 2023, 12 intrepid adventurers from Kubus set out on the 32km Brecon 10 Peaks Challenge, to help raise money for Young Gloucestershire. Below is a first-hand account from team-member Ben Carter, with some of his abiding memories from the day.
NB. some of the language was a bit fruity and has been redacted/edited for publication.
“Most of the Team were up at 04:30, invigorated and excited for the day ahead. After a slightly delayed start, the Kubus Team – accompanied by our guides – set off on the 32km trek at around 08:45.
Within the first couple of hours, I think we’d realised just what we’d gotten ourselves into as the relentless Welsh Beacons were fighting hard and we had politely been introduced to “B******s 1 & 2” as they were affectionately coined by our guides. The uphill marches with 45mph winds were only worsened as we reached the first 4 peaks with pretty much zero visibility.
Fan Nedd 663m, Fan Llia 632m, Fan Dringarth 617m and Fan Frynych 629m. A few of the team at this stage were realising that a few waltzes round the airfield on lunch breaks was perhaps not the preparation that was required to complete this beast.
After descending the 4th peak, we were greeted by the support vehicle with a much-needed cup of tea and a refreshments stop. Queue changes in socks, application of talc, muscle rub and Vaseline and a stern word with yourself to question why you signed up in the first place.
A few motivational words and a gee up for those who were fearing the end was near, and we set off on the second half of the trek. Just over 16km down and similar to follow. On the ascent that would ultimately end in the fabled summit of Pen Y Fan, injuries were starting to appear and cracks in belief were also apparent.
The guides took the chance to point out a cloud covered mountain far in the distance as our starting point, the aim to motivate us on how well we’d done to this point. Unfortunately, the 180 degree swivel of the head and some quick maths identified the end point of our trip and the seemingly insurmountable task at our feet.
From this point, peaks started to tumble at a confidence boosting rate and Craig Cerrig Gleisiad 629m, Corn Du 873m, Pen Y Fan 886m and Cribyn 795m were now eating our dust. A couple of men down from this point, but a noble effort from those fallen soldiers meant that the team were down to 9 for the final charge.
Only a few were not feeling something from within telling them they should stop. Blisters were appearing at an alarming rate and legs were turning to jelly, but we ploughed on. Fan Y Big 719m was a tough slog rewarded with a step onto the diving board, views to die for and the reassuring boost that it was all but downhill to the finish line.
A final charge marking off Bwlch y Ddwyallt 754m, Waun Rydd 769m, Craig y Fan 762m and Twyn Du 533m meant that our 10 peaks challenge had surmounted to 13. Warnings about that at the halfway mark may have prompted the end for a few of those involved, but the shared sigh of relief and cheer of success as we posed victorious at our final peak was sweet nectar for the soul.
Darkness was setting in, blisters were getting out of hand, and legs were failing as the group got strung out on its final descent. Assisted by painkillers, grit and determination, we completed the descent and embraced at the finish line around 19:15 having completed our challenge in around 10.5 hours.
One final step to overcome was the walk from the support vehicles in the pub car park to the bar, where we swapped nectar for the soul for the sweet golden nectar of the beer barrel and congratulated each other on a job well done; whilst comparing war wounds collected along the way.
The walking challenge boot – particularly for some who have now got history across multiple challenges – may now be hung up for good, but the memory of the achievement will last long in the memory. I can only hope it lasts longer than the blisters which are tormenting my poor feet. Signing out – Ben.”
Congratulations to everyone who took part: Adam Ranford, Alex Hicks, Amy Piatek, Archie Doyle, Ben Carter, Duncan Imrie, Jess Jenvey, Jimmy Evans, Jordan Selby, Josie Fothergill, Matt Berry and Scott Reynolds; and a big thank you to the various guides who looked after our team along the way.