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Article from section published on June 3, 2010

Engineers scale three mountains in 24 hours

A team of engineers have returned triumphant from a bid to climb three mountains in just 24 hours.

 The squad of high-speed mountaineers are all from the EADS Astrium satellite factory in Hilsea, and undertook the feat to raise cash for a trio of charities.

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Led by electrical engineer Mark Butler, they scaled Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon in 23 hours and 20 minutes.

Setting off from Portsmouth, they stayed overnight in Scotland and tackled the 4,400ft Ben Nevis.

They came down after five hours, got in a bus, and drove to the two other mountains – finally completing the epic trek the next day.

Mr Butler, 43, from Middlecroft Lane, Gosport, said: ‘It was very, very hard.

‘I was writing a blog as I went along and the final entry read: “The sense of achievement far outweighs the sense of pain”.

‘And the sense of achievement was fantastic, sitting in the Pen-y Pass car park drinking Champagne afterwards.

‘It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.’

He said the Scafell Pike trek, which they were forced to undertake at night, was an ‘achievement in itself, without losing anybody or anyone hurting themselves’.

Engineering manager Darren Blake, 35 and from Suffolk Drive, Whiteley, said: ‘Because it’s for charity we wanted to succeed.

‘It all seemed like a good idea at the time.

‘But when the old knees started failing coming downhill it didn’t seem such a good idea.

‘But we were all focused to succeed within the 24 hours.’

The team was made up of eight walkers and two drivers.

Altogether, the three combined peaks amounted to 11,208ft.

And in the end they raised close to £4,000 for three different charities – Macmillan Cancer Support, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s fund, and Mountain Rescue.

This is £1,000 more than they had initially hoped.

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