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Added: 28 June 2017
18,000'...2,000 miles...5 mountains...2 smart cars...1 goal...The Smart 5 Peaks Challenge
On the 21st July, two military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will set out to attempt the arduous 5 Peaks Challenge, a gruelling race against the clock in which they have to climb the highest mountain in every country of the UK & Ireland. They have just 48 hours to summit Carraun toohill, Slieve Donard, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and finally Ben Nevis, a total of 17,367' and the equivalent of climbing to Everest Base Camp!
Departing from the Sandown smart dealership in Basingstoke, the veterans have given themselves just 4 days to complete the entire 2,000 mile challenge and return home. Carrying all of the expedition equipment that they need, their car of choice for this epic adventure is a smart fortwo!
Can this challenge be completed in what many regard as a ‘city car’? Everything they require will be carried in the car’s 260 litre boot space –rucksacks, clothing, food, water, communications and survival kit. Sneak peak below!
In 2014, three ex-soldiers suffering from PTSD joined the Max Adventure team on a 12,000 mile overland expedition to far-eastern Siberia.So successful was the trip in giving the soldiers their lives back that a new charitable organisation 'Driven to Extremes' was set up to support more veterans by taking them on challenging vehicle adventures.
The team recently returned from a 2,000 mile 4x4 adventure to the Shetland Isles. Under the strap line of 'Feel Low...Drive High', 4 veterans undertook an emotional journey as they drove the rugged west coast of Scotland, crossed the Orkney and Shetland Isles, before finishing at Saxa Vord,the most northerly point of the UK.
The combination of operating in a remote and challenging environment, having to work as a close-knit team and the support within, the relentless pace of travel, military banter, opportunities for leadership and constant laughs along the way, help the veterans more than we could have imagined.
2,000 miles of driving and 5 mountains to climb during an intensive 80 hour period will bombard the veterans'senses with new and exciting experiences, helping push horrific memories to the back of their minds.
Harry,an ex infantry soldier, was overwhelmed by the experience of joining the Driven to Extremes Saxa Vord adventure and it's undoubtedly transformed his life for the better. As an 18-year old lad serving with the Black Watch Regiment (now 37) he was caught up in a serious explosion in Bosnia involving 3 anti-tank mines going off simultaneously. This instantly killed his 2 mates in front of him and severely injured 14 others. Even though he was incredibly close to the blast he managed to walk away unscathed, but then had to deal with the casualties alone for over an hour before help arrived.
He understandably never recovered from such a traumatic experience, PTSD set in,followed by 2 failed marriages and he'd been leading a life of isolation ever since - living rough for 9 months, then housed in sheltered accommodation. To hear Harry’s words about how the trip has helped get his life back on track brought the team to tears on more than one occasion.
We ask that you generously support this challenge and help more veterans that are suffering from PTSD. Many thanks.