Grand Dynamics International in collaboration with the COINS Foundation just completed another successful 3 Peaks Challenge for 20 teams of 6 participants. This year the weather was absolutely perfect for the hikers and spirits where high throughout the event. The COINS Foundation has already done a great job of recapping the event so below are a couple paragraphs of some highlight from the event.
“A rainy Friday lead into a mild and sunny Saturday morning arrival at Whiteface Mountain (4,867ft) in New York for teams taking part in the 2010 Challenge. A series of briefings, including equipment check, safety, team building, and navigation, spoke about ideal temperatures and water logged trails for hikers to traverse. The first teams started up the mountain shortly before 2:00pm and arrived at the summit of Whiteface with muddy boots. They were greeted by stunning views and words of encouragement from their support crews, who had driven to the summit on the Veterans Memorial Highway.
From the summit of Whiteface, the hikers descended the Wilmington Trail as support crews took part in some team building game activities and listed intently on the radios (a new addition for support crews this year) for their teams to reach each consecutive check point on the mountain. Tired and hungry, the hiking teams completed the first leg of the challenge and headed off to Brattleboro, Vermont to check in and receive their start times for the early Sunday morning ascent of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire.
Taking a modified longer route up Monadnock, the first teams headed up the mountain just after 6:00am. The cool morning air and dry trails made this early hike a refreshing break from the mud and warmth of the day before. From the top (3,165ft) teams looked out above the clouds at the 360 degree views of New England. Cairns, piles of stones, led the teams down the Pumpelly Trail, to Cascade Link, and White Dot just as the daily rush of hikers began to crowd the trails of this popular mountain, known as the second most hiked peak in the world.
With sore muscles yet determination, the teams enjoyed a much needed rest as support crews drove them the 4 hours to Mount Mansfield in Stowe, VT for the last leg of this marathon hike. Teams filled their water bottles, received a newly charged battery for their radios, and went through a final gear check before heading up the Hazelton Trail to tackle the last of the three mountains.
From the top, the highest peak in VT (4,395ft) did not disappoint; with sun gleaming off Lake Champlain in the distance. The views in all directions seemed even more spectacular to the teams knowing what they had just accomplished, 3 peaks in 3 different states in 24 hours. The hikers took just a moment to reflect on the fundraising efforts and training that had gotten them to this place and the difference they are making, before heading back down the Long Trail to the Toll Road and through the Finish Line!” (COINS Foundation, 2010)
Incredibly after 2 years in the USA and 9 years in the UK a tie occurred for first place between the EYP’s Hares and Pike Company’s A-Team for 19:32 minutes. Now, thinking back on the event and how slim the odds would have to be to finish at the exact same time down to the minute, I would recommend that each team should be buying lottery tickets for the next month. Not only did two teams tie but it was for first place which completely blows my mind.
From the GDI perspective the event went really well and during our companies final debrief their were definitely more pluses than deltas. For all of you who are not familiar with our Plus/Delta model, it is simply a way that we process the success of our programs. The pluses are what we felt went really well during the event and the deltas are what we would change for next time to make the event even better.
My final thought is to make sure that I thank all my crew for helping with the event (you know who you are) and the folks from the COINS Foundation especially Cathy Terwilliger and Victoria Stamey for all of the logistical support that they offer to make sure that the event is a HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!