Liam MacDevitt Completes 3 Peaks Challenge with Alive and Kicking

Adam Warrington3 min read

TV presenter and footballer Liam MacDevitt has completed the Winter Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales in just 24 hours. On the 5th of February 2023, the Alive and Kicking charity ambassador led a team of five who set out to help over 12,000 young people receive vital mental health education and support.

We kept a close eye on the group’s progress as they scaled Britain’s highest summits and caught up with Liam once he had recovered from the challenge.

You might recognise Liam MacDevitt from BBC’s Football Focus or MOTDX. He’s also a semi-professional footballer for Bury AFC. But when he’s not picking up a microphone or kicking a ball, Liam plays a vital role as an ambassador for Alive and Kicking. The charity is the world’s only not-for-profit football manufacturer that supports and strengthens communities around the world. It also empowers young people here in the UK by proving access play and workshops that helps them to live mentally and physically healthier lives.

What inspired you to take on the three peaks in winter?

“It is something I have wanted to do for years. I was keen to raise some money for the charity and the idea of doing this in winter was something I had been thinking about. I knew it would be tough and when the team were keen it was all go.

I love hiking, but don’t get out anywhere near as much as I would like to. I’ve climbed several mountains across the UK, but I really got the bug when I was living in New Zealand, where I climbed The Remarkables. Mountains are one of the earth's great gifts. Being alone or in a small group detached from day-to-day life is therapeutic, and something I will be hoping to explore more in coming years.”

Outdoor scene

How important was team spirit in helping you complete the three peaks?

“I could not have done this without the team. There were so many tough moments, where I wanted to stop for a break, but then I remembered what we were doing it for. We had a nice balance in the group. Ben and Joel took the father figure role in the group, keeping everyone organised and fed. James was head of encouragement and Markus was head of content and was just annoyingly robust, which kept us on pace. These sorts of challenges bring out the best forms of teamwork. Each of us taking turns at the front, helping one another through the difficult sections and collectively getting up and down quickly and safely.

In between mountains, we were all in recovery mode. Between the naps and the resting there were talks of our desert island discs and a few sing-alongs. We had everything from Grime to Heavy Metal.”

Favourite and least favourite of the three peaks?

“It’s hard to choose a favourite. Ben Nevis was clear nearly the entire way, which meant we had incredible views. Followed by a whiteout, which I love! It’s something new for the senses. Scafell Pike at nighttime was beautiful too. Living in a city I had forgotten how nice it was to see a sky full of stars. We had a full moon so Scafell was perfectly silhouetted. Then Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) was clear and sunny. It’s an incredible mountain. If one had to take it – it would probably be Ben Nevis, just because it was something completely new.

Snowdon was unsurprisingly the most difficult. Heading up the Pyg with a few scrambles after 2 peaks was starting to get the better of the legs. I walked down the stairs backwards this morning, which I wasn’t prepared for. Obviously, it's physically tough, but the mental difficulty was the greater challenge. When you haven’t slept much everything is more difficult. It was as hard as I had hoped. But there were certainly moments, I felt as if I wouldn’t make it. Down was definitely worse than up!”

Outdoor scene

Any advice for someone thinking of taking on the three peaks?

“Go in a good group, and try to stay present. Our country has beautiful parts, and this challenge gives you a chance to see some of them. But remember to look up. I wish I had spent a little more time taking in everything around me”.

Will you be climbing any more mountains this year?

“I hope to for sure, the Lakes aren’t too far away, and I love it up there. So I hope to spend as much of the summer as possible exploring and catching a few more sunrises and sunsets.”

Liam and his team have raised over £10,000 for Alive and Kicking. You can find out more about the challenge and the charity’s work by visiting their fundraising page on the link below, which is still open for donations.

Adam is a lover of the outdoors who’s recently moved back to rural Lancashire after living in the urban confines of Leeds for the past few years. His favourite pastimes include cooking, playing countless sports to a barely acceptable standard and exploring the local countryside with his dog, Chip.

When the weather gets in the way, Adam can be found at home watching films & TV and listening to music. If he’s not there, he’ll be in the pub down the road.  

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