Treking the ‘Triple Crown’: A challenge by Kris Bickerton

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As part of our look back over the past 25 years, we are celebrating the great stories and achievements from the customer that have come through our doors. Kris Bickerton, Andover, successfully completed the ‘Triple Crown’ in Ecuador. Read her incredible before and after story below. Preparing for a challenge? Become a member like Kris today with our introductory offer of £25. Find out more by calling 01264 347100 (Andover Leisure Centre) or 01794 830333 (Romsey Rapids Sports Complex).

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Kris Bickerton, 32, from Andover – originally Loughborough – about a rather unique challenge that she has just completed. Kris successfully completed the ‘Triple Crown’ in Ecuador. This 16 day trek involved climbing three volcanoes: Cayambe (5790m), Cotopaxi (5895m) and Chimborazo (6310m). The summit of Cayambe is the highest point on the equator and the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest point from the centre of the Earth.

We had a chat with her before the challenge to see how she was preparing:

  • Why have you chosen this challenge?

I enjoy the challenge of high altitude mountaineering and want to challenge myself again

  • You are leaving in a few days, how are you currently feeling?

I am scared of failure to be honest as weather can play a major part in success even if you’ve trained and prepared well.

  • How have you been preparing for this challenge? Are there any in-particular exercises/pieces of equipment that you have been doing / using in preparation?

I have been attending Body Step and Body Combat for cardio as well as a 10km road run each week. I have also been doing 1 hour on the stepper with a weighted backpack and step-ups with a weighted bar.

  • How many times a week have you been training and for how long?

5 times a week and usually for at least an hour at a time.

  • What do your family think about you taking on the challenge?

Baffled as usual when I come up with new goals but also very supportive.

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We are happy to say that she completed her challenge, and as you can see from her photos, it looked like Kris was taken on an amazing journey. We chatted to her again following her challenge to see how she got on.

  • What was your favourite part of your challenge?

The end! The feeling of success of having bagged all three peaks successfully and safely.

  • Out of the three peaks, did you have a favourite?

Chimborazo – nobody can resist a great fact like standing on the point the furthest away from the centre of the earth! It was also the only one with clear weather so I could actually see the view and surrounding volcanoes. I could actually see Cotopaxi that I had climbed a few days earlier in the distance.

  • What was it like being away for 16 days?

It’s pretty normal for me to be honest.

  • At any point did you face any in particularly tough challenges?

All of the climbs were incredibly physically challenging but the few hours cramponing up a sheer snow slope on Cotopaxi was memorable, as was some scrambling on rock still wearing crampons (a traction device used to improve mobility on snow and ice during ice climbing). I do have a bit of an issue with heights so didn’t enjoy the sheer drop below me!

  • What is your overall feeling after completing this trek?

Relief and pride at not having given up when I really wanted to!

  • Were there any stand out moments?

Standing on any summit is memorable but actually climbing Chimborazo in the moonlight, being able to see the glacier, snow fields and rock bands without a head torch was beautiful.

We are intrigued to find out what Kris’ next challenge is, or if you have any challenges that you want to contact us about. If you are feeling motivated but are not sure how to get started, why not contact us by filling out our enquiry sheet HERE.


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