Last weekend (5-7 August), in what was an intense test of their perseverance, a team of nine employees from Buckinghamshire law firm B P Collins took on the challenge of scaling the infamous Trolltunga.
Trolltunga, or “Troll’s Tongue”, is a large rock protruding from the side of a mountain approximately 700m above the lake Ringedalsvatnet in West Norway, popular with experienced hikers around Europe. The 14-hour expedition saw most of the group complete a three-part trial where they had to cycle, hike and climb their way to the top, with the other two members of the team electing to take on a 22km hike the whole way.
Although the challenge pushed the team right out of their comfort zone, an elated Nick Hallchurch, partner in the dispute resolution practice, spoke of his feelings after the experience: “I felt amazing, like I’d really achieved something. For me it was probably one of the most memorable days of my life.”
The team’s resolve was truly tested as a sense of danger was right at the heart of the challenge. Nick recalled how climbing the sheer rock face was a “severe test for most people”; the six that completed it were “solely responsible for our own safety”, as it was entirely up to the team to clip and unclip themselves from the mountain as they climbed. Despite the safety concerns he explained that the team kept their heads, as any temptation to panic was “completely taken over by a sense of self-preservation; you’re halfway up a mountain and it’s real.”
The team that embarked on the weekend trip alongside Nick consisted of HR manager Jacqui Symons, IT manager Imran Shah, archivist Adam Cahill, trainees Lucy Newman and Dana Eyre, paralegal Amy Cooper and solicitors Matthew Crockford and Liz Kynaston.
Speaking afterwards, Liz admitted that the team had possibly underestimated the size of the task, she said: “It sounded like a good challenge, but we didn’t quite know what we were letting ourselves in for when we signed up for it. It was absolutely exhausting; I don’t think I’d appreciated how tough it was going to be!” Nevertheless, she praised the strength of the group explaining how “everybody had parts they found really hard, so everyone helped to get each other through it. It was a brilliant experience.”
Credited with organising this particular trip and numerous others in the past, Imran Shah from the IT team spoke of the wider importance of these excursions for the B P Collins team. He said: “we’ve had a few events over the last couple of years. The idea that people working together, spending most of their lives together within a company don’t actually know much about each other seems wrong to me. It’s a chance to bond and bring people closer together, we really had to communicate and help each other throughout.”
Following on from the success of this trip and looking to the future, Imran remarked: “I’ll definitely organise another event that’s similar, another challenging experience for everybody to remember.”