While the rest of us enjoyed a relaxing weekend, 11 dedicated Talent staff summited three Australian peaks to raise vital funds for at-risk youth. Their effort – and it was an effort battling hail storms and 110 kilometre winds – was in support of Whitelion’s Three Peaks Challenge, a trekking adventure that conquers three peaks across three states in just 33 hours.

“This event was way tougher than we expected,” says Cheryl Tyas, Client Solutions Manager from Talent Sydney. “It was a never-ending blizzard of wind and rain. But we were in it together to support Whitelion.”

A partner organisation of Talent RISE, Whitelion offers a range of intervention programs for at-risk youth, focusing on outreach, mentoring, employment and education.

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No easy feat

On Saturday, Team Talent’s first challenge was a 14.4 kilometre round trek to the summit of Mount Tennent (1,375m) in the Australian Capital Territory.

“The first five kilometres was a continual climb,” says Rosie Wilson, also from Talent Sydney. “It was a difficult trek that set the tone for the rest of the adventure. We knew right from the start that this was going to challenge us physically and mentally – and test our relationships.”

With their first summit scaled, Team Talent boarded a bus to Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m), part of the Australian Alps National Park and Australia’s highest peak.

“The fog was thick and the rain was belting down,” says Cheryl. “You could barely see a few metres in front of you. All we could see were each other’s fuzzy headlamps.

“We didn’t get down from the mountain until 2am on Sunday morning, then drove straight to the next mountain to do it all over again.”

Arriving at the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Team Talent began their final challenge – an eight-hour ascent of Mount Bogong (1,986m). With very little sleep and facing harsh conditions, they were nearing the summit when they were told the peak was closed.

“It was just too dangerous to continue,” says Sharyn Saxby, Recruitment Account Manager at Talent Sydney. “The weather was too bad.”

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A team united

Although they were unable to summit the final peak, Team Talent felt the full force of the challenge.

“When we came down from Mount Bogong, our gloves and shoes were filled to the brim with water,” says Cheryl. “We couldn’t feel our hands or feet, and our fingers were stiff from clutching our trekking poles.”

“We were sleep-deprived and delusional,” laughs Rosie.

Despite this, Team Talent agrees that they would do it all again knowing they’d raised over $17,000 to help disadvantaged young Australians build a brighter future.

“We took on this challenge as a team and learned so much about each other in the process,” says Sharyn. “We trained hard and we fundraised for a great cause, but the achievement also belongs to everyone at Talent who supported us along the way.”

“We really want to thank the Talent family and all our generous sponsors for your support,” says Cheryl. “Rest assured, you got your money’s worth.”

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