D&B Ghana signed up to partake in the three peaks challenge which occurred on 9th and 10th September 2016. This was to climb the three highest peaks in Ghana in 24 hours.
The peaks were:
• Mount Afadjato
• Mount Abuadu
• Mount Djebobo
The climb was around 34 kilometers and as citedabove, it was to be completed in 24 hours, so some of the climb was actually in the dark (probably 40% of it).
This was a charity event organized by the new ATUABO Freeport that is being built. All proceeds went to the nearby village of Shaire for their local development.
A team of 8 members from D&B Ghana led by our General Manager for Africa, Mr. David Challies made this trip challenge a memorable one for us all. We loved the challenge, more so when we had an opportunity to burn some calories. Most importantly though, was the opportunity to bond with ourselves.
Other companies present were Blue Skies, Tullow Oil Gh Ltd., Kosmos Energy, Atuabo Free Port and Bentsi-Enchill law firm
Soon, the challenge idea became a reality as we all converged at Kosmos Energy premises to start or journey. All teams from other represented companies in a convoy meandered the rough terrain with our rugged and robust 4wheel drives cars and made it to Afadjato in time following strict instructions from our noble organizers.
After a 3 hour bumpy ride, we made our first 15 minutes stop at Hohoe where we rested and had some food, drinks, water etc.
The journey continued after we had rested at Hohoe. Actually, the road to Gblediwas plagued with lots of mountains, hills, ranges and we pondered, why don’t we just get down at Shai Hills and climb one of these mountains since what we want to do is climb a mountain? But of course that thought exited a second after it appeared because we were actually made to understand it was more than a climb. This was history in the making for the D&B Ghana and more importantly a challenge.
We actually arrived safely at Gbledi village where we were to begin our climbing challenge with Afadjato mountain. We took some group pictures and had a brief meeting with the organizers and there the challenge begun.
Soon the challenge began with the first mountain (Afadjato). Gently, we had to weave through a mixture of herbaceous and woody plant species.
A mass flora covering a steep rock with a pathway only etched by footprints and steady adventure explorers. You’re either placing your foot on a loose rock or trying to hold on to the hanging branch or a tree and soon we got to know at first hand why the mountain was named Afadzato.
The name of the mountain was derived from the Ewe word Avadzeto, meaning “at war with the bush.”
Sporadically, we will take a seat on a rock and referee the inner battle going on between our hearts and minds.
Rest a bit, chat, drink water whilst our minds was excited about how far we had come up the mountain, nonetheless our heartswere pounding faster than the Pistons in a turbo engine block.
Tired, sweaty, wobbling legs, with a bottle of water at our backs, we held on to every support we could get aside the climbing sticks we used.
In a group like this, you’re bound to lend a helping hand and so, aside climbing up, the joy laid in the fact that you could lend a hand to somebody, pull them up a step further and the ‘thank yous’ made you feel good or even better, the thought that they think you’re not tired. In fact some of us wish they knew.
We sat on rocks and protruding tree roots to rest and take in some water after been beaten by the heavy rains. Others spent minutes waiting for their partners to catch their breath, some spent time inspiring others and reminding them why they it was called a challenge.
We continued further and not long after we’d hear people screaming ‘we are almost there’. That’s when we knew wewere almost at the top. Though we kept hearing that for over 20 times within 25 minutes.
Finally on top of Afadjato that was around 9pm, taking a rest in the Agomatsa range, comforted by other mountains with rock layers and thick forest, characterized by peace and serenity. A more refreshing climate depicting how far we were into the troposphere. There were enough smiles to go around, laughter finally.
The biggest surprise of the climb is when you get around this bend in the trail which zig-zags around the mountain-side and see for the first time not forest and trail as usual but a piece of sky high above you. Then you sip water as David is doing. Then you will know that you have made it at last.
This feeling of total excitement fills you before you even see the signage saying: “wow, you have made it. You are on top of the highest point in Ghana. Enjoy the panoramic view”. It is at this point that you get the feeling that you really want to ‘dash up’ the last ten meters to flop down on the rocks at the summit of Afadjato.
We descended the Afadjato Mountain to climb to the next mountain called Mount Abuadu. In fact it was such a great adventure during the nights from Afadjato to Abuadu.
Upon reaching the Peak of Abuadu Mountain, we realized that trekking and mountain climbing with other teams provided a sense of satisfaction that we won’t get anywhere else.it actually created more time for bonding with ourselves and also other team members from other companies.
Finally, we descended down from Mountain Abuadu back to where we started. Unbeknownst to us, the hardest part of this challenge was actually descending the mountain.
Finally, as we struggled our way back, the Chiefs and people of Gbledi and Liati made it even more glamorous. We arrived to drumming and dancing, rich cultural display and probably a way of taking our minds off the over 2,904 feet of mountain and forest we just arrived from. The men thumped the drums with their might and the ladies sang cheerfully as some wiggled and moved gloriously to the borborbor rhythms.
We couldn’t help but admire our rich Ghanaian culture, our music and our dances. We are a very rich nation. The chief and the PRO of the Afadjato tourism project gave us some insight into the name of the mountain and the natives of the villages surrounding it.
Though the challenge expectations were more basic which made us appreciate the simple things in life, accepted different kinds of people and the ability to adjust and get along. It was actually a perfect time for introspection and reflection of yourself.
We bid the Gbledi village farewell and continued our trip to where the third mountain (Mount Dzebobo) was located.
We drove in a in the nights for almost about 5 hours before getting to the next mountain location. Had a brief meeting with the organizers, took our breakfast and headed to the village called Shaire. After making steady climbs and running over flowing river, we made to the shaire village where our next climb was actually supposed to have started.
Shaire is a village situated a few kilometers east of Nkwanta. This village is the paramount seat of the Akyode people and is affectionately called the “hanging village” as a result of its architectural design.
The houses are virtually built into the mountain making them look as though they are hanging.
The houses are built in a sort of layers. It is worth noting that Shiare could only be reached on footbecause of the mountainous nature of the village.
Unfortunately, this was where our challenge ended. There was a miscommunication between the organizers and the Shaire village people and unfortunately we all had to return back.
They sorted out the differences but the teams were very exhausted and had return back.
We had our supper together with all other team members from other companies and journeyed our way back home (Accra) safely.
Definitely one of D&B Ghana most adventurous successful team building trips ever.
Gabriel Ofori Yeboah
Data Management & Reporting Manager
Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Ltd.
Office line: (+233)(54) 4343201