Wednesday 9 November 2011
The weekend of September 17-18, 2011 saw 13 teams from the construction industry take part in the third annual COINS 3 Peaks Challenge event in the USA
The teams hiked three of the highest mountains in the Northeast, pledging $85,000 to the project work of the COINS Foundation.
A chilly Friday lead into a mild and sunny Saturday morning arrival at Whiteface Mountain (4,867ft) in New York for teams taking part in the 2011 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 after 1:00pm 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 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 picturesque sunrise made this early hike, the shortest of the three, a refreshing break from the lengthy trails 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!
Most of the teams completed the Challenge within 24 hours combined hiking and driving time. The BBL Construction Services/HCP Architects Team took the first place finish with a total time of just 19 hours 54 minutes. New England Mechanical's Cliff Cruisers were not far behind, coming in second place with a total time of 20 hours 29 minutes. The Brickman Group was awarded Highest Fundraiser of the event for their pledge of $10,000 for the project work of The COINS Foundation. Nine of the thirteen teams completed the challenge in less than 24 hours. COINS rewarded all participants with commemorative t-shirts, hats, and medals. Click here to see all the finish times.
Larry Sullivan, President of the COINS Foundation and COINS Chairman, thanked all the teams for their efforts, particularly for raising funds at a time where the industry is still largely reeling from the impact of the credit crunch. He assured all participants that 100% of the money they raised would be going to the projects supported by the COINS Foundation. For more information on the COINS Foundation projects keep an eye on the web site www.coinsfoundation.org.
Fundraising for the Challenge will run through the end of the year. Altogether, the teams pledged $85,000 + for the project work of the COINS Foundation. Check back periodically for the latest fundraising totals. If you would like to take part in the COINS 3 Peaks Challenge 2012, you can register now.
Our special thanks to: The Grand Dynamic s team, including Will Leggett and the mountain marshals who climbed into position and back down in the dark; all our event volunteers; and the staff of the Stowe Mountain Resort.
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