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A Brrrrrrilliant effort from the CHAS Arctic 11

Welcome home, congratulations and thank you to the incredible and inspiring team who completed a challenging Arctic Trek for CHAS last week.

The three day trek in northern Finland was definitely not for the faint hearted as according to event organisers Breaking Strain, conditions were the most extreme ever experienced on the trail.

Trekking 72km over three days on frozen lakes and through snow-covered forests, at the same time as pulling 20kg pulks attached to their waists, camping in tents at night as temperatures plummeted to a low of -34 degrees on one night, are just some of the aspects of the challenge that the team endured to get to the 'Finnish line.' As well as the enormous personal achievement these superstars have raised over £25,000 (and counting!) for CHAS through their amazing efforts.

One of the CHAS trekkers, Sarah, blogged about day one, "The first day of trekking was by far the best. We were well rested, highly caffeinated, excited, and enthusiastic. We started the trek walking two or three abreast, down a frozen river, chatting away, and simply enjoying the thrill of what we were doing. The view was completely magical. Not a breath of wind. Snow clinging to trees like they'd been carefully dusted by an artist. The sun was shining, making the snow on the ground sparkle like diamonds, and the dusting of snow in the air (puffing off trees, rather than falling from the sky) shined like little bits of gold dust. We left the river and trekked through a picture postcard town with houses painted perfect Nordic colours, and snow covering everything. It got a bit harder trekking later, including a slight hill which made negotiating the pulk downhill a little interesting… but still all happy, all positive and all lovely. At the bottom of the hill we emerged onto an enormous frozen lake, and as the twilight twinkled its last and darkness enshrouded us we trekked down towards the welcome row of tents already erected for us by the 'logistics' team, and a roaring fire.

Scott said "This was definitely the toughest challenge I have ever taken on, both physically and mentally, but it was worth it and more. Words cannot explain how beautiful that part of the world is and knowing that few people will see some of the landscapes and scenery we trekked through just makes it all the more special. Similarly, there are no words to describe the feeling of crossing the finish line. It was partly relief, but the emotion and the realisation of what you have achieved just hits you."

If our 2018 Arctic heroes have inspired you and you would like to take on the Arctic Trek 2019, or if you would prefer a challenge in a warmer climate such as the CHAS Sahara Trek 2019, please contact scottmaxwell@chas.org.uk for further information.

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