A GROUP of friends have successfully tackled the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge and raised £5,000 for two charities into the bargain.

Claire Marie Clapp, 34, of Durleigh, took on Ben Nevis, then Scafell Pike and, finally, Snowdon in just 24 hours with her companions to raise the cash for Cancer Research UK and St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice.

The group, who called themselves ‘The Pathseekers’, smashed their fundraising target of £2,000.

Claire told the Mercury: “The challenge was an experience of a lifetime, one which we will never forget.

“The sun was shining when we were climbing Ben Nevis, but once we started travelling to Scafell Pike the heavens opened and along came torrential rain and wind.”

The team battled through rain, fog, cold and a landslide at Snowdon.

Claire added: “On completing the challenge we were all overcome with emotion – happy, sleepy, hungry and we all cried as the achievement was so big and we were so very proud of ourselves.

“We’d like to thank everyone who sponsored us and to Plowrights for the hire of the minibus and Capital that funded our fuel for our journey.”