Terrific team of one raises spirits and funds for Wooden Spoon
FROM pulling on their favourite colours for class to running marathons and cycling circuits of Cardiff, there are myriad ways supporters can do their bit for Wooden Spoon.
And while many choose to tackle challenges as part of a team or expansive expedition, the past decade has seen plentiful examples of individuals setting – and succeeding in smashing – their own goals.
Take Peter Cook, for example, who seeking a high after feeling low as a result of illness during 2017, raised both his spirits and funds for the children’s charity of rugby by summiting Snowdon three times in the space of just 12 hours.
The Wooden Spoon Oxfordshire supporter completed his lofty challenge with ten minutes to spare despite a heavy fall, wet weather and a wrong turn threatening to thwart his triple assault on Wales’ highest mountain.
Peter, who scaled Snowdon with friends the previous year, enjoyed a relatively trouble-free start to his 23-mile hike – reaching the peak in one hour and 35 minutes – but his bid to climb more than 8,000 feet took a literal turn for the worse during the first descent.
With wet weather making the trek down more treacherous than usual, the ardent adventurer fell heavily on his hip before losing his way as a consequence of poor visibility. Although Peter’s unintentional detour returned him to the base of Snowdon, it did so seven miles from his intended position.
Fearing failure at the first hurdle and in the absence of a passing bus, the rain soaked rambler resorted to hitch-hiking and fortunately had his feat put back on track by a sympathetic driver. Spurred on by this change in fortune, Peter completed his second ascent in one hour and 50 minutes and – after taking a rest and refuelling at the summit – returned to the start point for his final climb with four hours and 40 minutes left on the clock.
Cheered off by his partner Emma and stepson George but slowed by a stiffening knee, the Wooden Spoon fundraiser successfully summited for a third time and – with the weather improving – completed his Snowdon hat-trick with minutes to spare.
Reflecting on his motivation for scaling a mountain three times in one day, Peter said:
“For a number of reasons, it was not a good start to the year culminating in me having a chest infection and struggling to even climb my house stairs. So feeling very low I gave myself a challenge that would at the same time help some great children who face harder challenges every day.”
Peter added: “After climbing Snowdon with some friends, one asked if I felt I could go immediately back up and do it again. Bravado said yes, but my legs said no.”
“That thought stuck in my mind and while I thought twice may be possible, I wasn’t sure three would be. So the challenge was set – it had to be three times to the summit. If I was going to ask people to part with their hard-earned cash to support my cause, I had to achieve, or at least attempt to achieve, something I didn’t think I could.”