Sam takes on the Three Peaks as a tribute to his gran

When Sam Knowles stood at the foot of Ben Nevis, he had a dual mission in mind: to conquer the Three Peaks as a tribute to his gran and to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research.

The 25-year-old’s grandmother Ursula Emery died of bowel cancer in June, aged 80.

“She knew I was doing the Three Peaks for her and was really proud,” said Sam, from Talke, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sam, along with three mates Chris Walker, Gareth Higgins and Rob Hughes, started climbing Ben Nevis (4,413ft) at 5am and made it back in five hours.

At 4pm they headed up Scafell Pike (3,209ft) and returned at 7.45pm.

Finally came Snowdon (3,560ft): they left in pitch dark at 12.30pm and finished – with just 15 minutes to spare – at 4.45am.

“Going up Snowdon in the dark was tricky. We lost the path for a while but I’d climbed it at least 10 times before so we sort of knew the way,” said Sam who works for TT Pumps in Crewe.

The steepest bit was Scafell Pike. I hit a wall about half way up and thought ‘I can’t do this’ but then I thought of my grandma and why I was doing it. Getting to the top was really worth it.

The friends had tackled the Three Peaks Challenge three years ago but missed the 24-hour deadline, so the joy of achieving their goal this time was all the more sweet.

The four of us kept each other going. Finishing at Snowdon was amazing. We were all a bit overwhelmed.

Sam thanked their back-up driver Adrian Poole, and his employers TT Pumps who provided their support van.

Chief executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Sam for his support. “We are sorry to hear that Ursula Ennery lost her life to this terrible disease.

"Our mission is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers like Sam.”

Anyone who wants to support Sam can do so at