The most difficult one came right at the start, when we were physically at our most unfit, and only a couple of months after Tracy had undergone a lot of surgery following Emily's birth. We were off to the Trinnacle, a gritstone outcrop on Saddleworth Moor. We'd gone straight from work, got stuck in awful traffic on the way, and only arrived in the car park at 6.30pm. The ascent was brutally steep and took so much longer than we'd anticipated; and from the top there were still another 1.5 miles to go to the viewpoint. We were running out of time, and as a result of our rushing, Tracy twisted her ankle.
As luck would have it, a little group walking behind us happened to be junior doctors, so they sorted out her ankle and gave her some painkillers, which enabled us to get to the viewpoint and get a really nice shot. But then we had to get back down. It had taken us 2.5 hours to get from the car to that point, and now we had darkness to contend with. There was a shorter way down that meant most of the walk back to the car would be on a path, so we decided to go for it, but it was the wrong choice; we found ourselves scrambling down a series of little waterfalls. We both had head torches, but with Tracy's bad ankle and the bags we were carrying, it wasn't easy; in fact, it was very scary in places, and such a huge relief when we got to the bottom. By the time we got home, it was 12.30am, and Tracy said, "If I never see the Trinnacle again it will be too soon." Which sums it up nicely.
The day we shot Kinder Scout, the tallest and biggest mountain in the Peak District, was pretty tough, too. James Grant's book advised going when it was dry and clear, as the top is peat which can become dangerously boggy in the rain. Between us we have the navigational skills of a blind pigeon and we've got lost plenty of times – even though James' book is very well written, with clear instructions on how to get to each location. So we kept putting Kinder Scout off, and it wasn't until the last weekend of the whole challenge that we actually did it. We were exhausted and it was absolutely exhausting.