Extreme Tyre Pulling

Laying Down the Gauntlet

Neuadd Reservoir (start and end point)
Peter and Tess are a couple in their 60s aiming to get to the geographic South Pole in 2008. Thought it would be good to get to know them trekking in the black mountains (Brecon Beacons) in South Wales ......of course pulling a tyre. They happily accepted the challenge come rain or shine.

On the 8th August, we camped just outside of Crickhowell in a camp site chosen by our weary driver, Pete. Tess and I did not disagree as it was better to have a place at the time of night we arrived (23:00) rather than search for a "potential" campsite.

Tents were pitched metres from us. A thick leafy hedge separated us from the trailers, and three drunken men eating curry, chatted loudly and every now and then ripped off a burp to proclaim their manliness. I dislike camp sites but this was not the time to be fussy. It was time to vision mountains and lakes and rest one's eyes and body for the body stress about to come.

Pete prepares route
Weather predictions were for the morning to start off dry and then rain continuously for the rest of the day. The worst the weather, the better the challenge (masochistic bunch we are!).

Modelling the latest wet weather gear


We arose at 07:30am, had a drink and ate a simple meal of porridge/harvest crunch mix. We decided to take the tent down and find a quieter location to pitch at the end of our 8 mile trek around the Pen-y-fan horse shoe ridge. As we drove off, someone upstairs turned the sprinklers on. When we got to our start point, rain drops were falling faster and harder. We didn't even think about it. We prepared our route and put on our water proofs.  Being a little unprepared, had to make some makeshift gaitors from plastic bags to keep me booties dry for at least a couple of hours!

Merrily We Go

Pete wears back pack on back, Tess tests back pack in bucket on tyre

Tyres out, harness on and three mad souls headed into the valley.......towards the black mountains, singing songs from the 60s....blonde, Queen and a couple of West End melodramatic solos.

The walking guide book Pete carried warned that we should not attempt the mountains in bad weather. Strange thing to write when the weather here is normally BAD! Mist had settled upon the mountains and we were excited. 

As we approached our first mountain, Tess and I had to do a comfort break.  There was no soul in sight.  Rain was pouring, wind was blowing and just when I dropped my shorts to show my buttocks to the elements I had voices above me.  It was one of those OMG moments. Two men appeared on the slopes of the mountain. "Great views" one proclaimed looking our direction.  I mutter "yeah moony to you".


What mad people would venture our in such poor weather? Fell runners training, SAS army training, orienteering training.....in fact only the "training" people were out there. 

As we ascended the first mountain we had the wind on our backs.  After that we hit upon head-on and sideways winds that gusted up to 50-60 mph.  We imagined them to be the katabatic winds in the Antarctic.  And as the ridge narrowed, the wind tried to drag us to the edge. We never took the bait, having to stop to keep our feet on the ground until the wind died a little. At one point we were over taken by a SAS woman training with a huoooge 30-40kg pack saying we were hard core! - and a couple more!!!!!

Very comfortable seats!

Our first and only break came towards the end when we found shelter from the wind.  It was 4 hours and we were now drinking our first drink and munching a couple of marmalade sandwiches.

The car is this way








Is it the End?

And so we reached our end point and were met by a couple of Army dressed guys. They looked at my shorts and said I was mad, however, Pete and Tess will tell you that their inner clothes and boots were completely soaked.  I believe this might be due to the gore tex.  It holds the weather out but keeps the moisture (sweat) in!

I felt warm and skin, well it is rain proof!


.....so we all changed to dry clothes, and as Pete tried to get the car going....whhhhrrrr (silence)........hmmm well more time to get to know each other for a couple more hours whilst we waited for the AA to come fix Pete's car.

On a final note, if any of you readers want to realise a peace vision, send Tess and Pete a peace message for them to read out at the South Pole.  By writing it down and sending it to them, that vision is more likely to be realised!  Examples can be seen on their website.