The Timberland/Munster Rugby 3 Peaks Challenge

On August 29th Timberland and Munster Rugby completed the Timberland/Munster Rugby 3 Peaks Challenge in aid of Enable Ireland. The challenge for the 14 Timberland and 12 Munster Rugby representatives was climbing to the summit of the 3 highest peaks in Ireland: Carrantuohill, Galteemore and Knockboy in under 24 hours.

Timberland franchise partner, Tim Deasy gives his account of the challenge:

We met at 1am on Saturday morning at the Munster Rugby offices. There were serious athletes like Shaun Payne and Fergal O’ Callaghan from Munster Rugby and indeed our own Mark Shine and Richard Deasy.

I was in the ‘not very serious’ athlete’s camp. Twenty of us and 6 drivers headed for ‘Galteemore’ – the tallest mountain in Limerick/Tipperary but the easiest of the three we had to climb.

The climb started at 2am with everyone in high spirits wearing our waterproof gear and headlamps etc. It took us 3 hours to get to the top – driving cold rain, force 9 winds and pitch dark. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was. Luckily we had a great guide who kept us away from the cliffs!!

It was so cold, windy and wet at the top so we didn’t hang around and headed straight back down and into our cars. Next we headed for ‘Knockboy’ – the tallest mountain in Cork and the second tallest of the three. There were some shocked faces realising now that this was not going to be easy.

Luckily ‘Knockboy’ was easy and we got up and down in 2 hours. Then it was time for the biggest challenge- ‘Carrantowhill’, Ireland’s tallest mountain. I was very tired and felt like if couldn’t complete ‘Carrantowhill’ then at least I would have tried.

We got to the bottom of the ‘devils ladder’ on ‘Carrantowhill’ and the rain started to come down freezing cold sheets. At this stage my vertigo was beginning to kick in and I was getting a little freaked out.  Ultan O’ Callaghan was sharing my pain. The serious athletes had now pulled ahead and were almost running up the mountain – Shaun Payne, Mark Shine, Brian Cheasty, Richard Deasy, Glyn Billinghurst – followed closely by Emer Melody, Claire Cook etc.

At this stage I decided I was turning back but one of the guides insisted that I had to continue up the mountain. I got to the top of the devils ladder and then after another hour with my lungs burning I made it to the top of the mountain. The top of ‘Carrantowhill’ was covered in fog. It cleared for a couple of seconds and the view was frightening – sheer cliffs on nearly every side.

I didn’t stay at the top for long and headed down. I needed the assistance of John (the guide) on the way down the devils ladder as my nerves were a bit frayed from the vertigo. After 6 hours of starting the climb I got to the bottom of the mountain. I managed to cover the three mountains in 18hours and it was my most satisfying physical achievement ever!

Shaun Payne did the climb in something like 2 hours 30 minutes with Mark and Brian not far behind – incredible going for people who had never climbed a mountain before.

We are looking forward to next year!

Through the 3 Peaks Challenge, Timberland raised €17,400 to benefit  Enable Ireland — an organization that provides free services to children and adults with disabilities and their families from 40 locations in 14 counties.

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