TWELVE young adventurers from Tavistock scaled new heights last month, taking on the challenge of climbing the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales to raise money for armed forces charity Help For Heroes.

Following four months of training on Dartmoor, the members of Devon County Council-run Tavistock Adventure Group, all aged between 14 and 18, pushed themselves to the limits climbing more than 11,000ft in a gruelling 26-mile hike up Ben Nevis in Scotland, Skafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales over three consecutive days.

Jonathan Scott, Devon County Council's senior area youth worker for Tavistock, said: 'The young people from Tavistock Adventure Group have successfully completed a huge challenge by scaling all three mountains in one trip, which is no easy feat.

'Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis are big mountains that require long days on the hill to get to the summits.

'It was a privilege to see the young people work together and support each other over difficult sections and through the inevitable periods of tiredness.

'The smiles and sense of achievement that we saw from the group when they reached the top made it all worthwhile.'

The team's route began in the West Highlands of Scotland, where, in the wee hours, they set off up Ben Nevis in perfect weather conditions.

Three and a half hours later the views from the summit proved well worth the climb with a panorama stretching over eighty miles of Scottish mountain scenery including the Great Glen.

Onwards to Ambleside in the Lake District, and the group tackled a mist-shrouded Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, via the Corridor Route to enjoy a glimpse of Great Gable and the northern fells from the summit before descending back to valley level for a well earned swim in the river.

Finally, the challenge was completed with bacon rolls at the top of Snowdon, before returning to Tavistock to a champions' welcome from family and friends.

Comments from those that took part included:

'It was great to mix with pupils from other schools and achieve the challenge together.'

'I really enjoyed the whole trip and hope that we can take on some more challenging trips in the future.'

'I had a really eventful experience on the three peaks and took home a really amazing experience as well, the views were immense.'