"It took us five-and-a-half hours to get to the top and another five-and-a-half to get down," admitted father of four Pickering. "I was absolutely exhausted by the time we finished and my hamstrings were killing me. The only consolation was I was in better shape than Jeremy."
Former dynamic front row man Pugh and Lovering, who played his rugby at Briton Ferry, are all set to be part of Pickering's 'Magnificent Seven' to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro in January and the three men used the Snowdon challenge to test their fitness.
"The highest point in Wales is only 3,559 ft (1,085 metres) and we were able to do it in less than six hours. The ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro will take up to five days because it stands 19,335.6 ft tall (5,895 m)," said Pickering. "While Jeremy and Neil have already confirmed they are going to join me, the rest of the team is set to be confirmed within the next fortnight. I've already had a fantastic response and we will be doing everything we can to reach the £100,000 mark.
"I haven't done much physical activity in the past three or four years because of the demands of running my business, raising a young family and working for the WRU.
"What this trip will allow me to do is walk off some of my excess weight, support a worthy cause and heighten the awareness of the Health Challenge Wales campaign.
"As a father of four young daughters I want to be able to do anything I can to end cruelty to children in Wales. Through the FULL STOP Appeal, the NSPCC aims to end cruelty to children within one generation and to provide a community within which every child is loved, valued and able to reach it's potential.
"Everyone who joins me on the trip to Tanzania will be parents and we will be urging everyone who backs us to support these aims. The WRU raised almost £2m for the Tsunami victims earlier in the year. In the 125th anniversary season of the Union the NSPCC will be our dedicated charity as we try to we try to heighten the awareness of another vital social issue."
Lt Col Dickie Davies, of the Royal Welsh Regiment, will be in charge of arranging the trip and Pickering's team will be put through their paces by the army as well as the Welsh management. Pickering has already accepted an invitation to train with the Welsh team and he also intends to go out to some of the community clubs across Wales to get in some extra training.
The latest initiative of the NSPCC FULL STOP campaign starts on Monday, 19 September and will be urging people to 'Talk 'til it stops'. 'Talk 'til it stops' aims to mobilise millions of people to act together against child cruelty.
FULL STOP Week, which launches on 3 October is the focal point for 'Talk 'til it Stops'. This week of activity offers people a range of opportunities not only to talk, but to take other actions against abuse. Wear a FULL STOP badge, wristband, donate to the appeal or fill in the nationwide survey.
Talk 'til is stops calls on everyone to talk and share their concerns if they think a child is being harmed. Trust your judgment and 'Talk 'til it Stops'.
Mount Kilimanjaro is in the north-eastern tip of Tanzania. The climb takes you through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit. Not only is Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa, but it is also the highest freestanding peak in the world. It is also the highest 'walkable' mountain in the world.
The upward track wends through forests that vary constantly with the altitude and finally opens out into open moorland below rocky, snow covered Kibo plateau. It has 3 volcanic centres, Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. The peak is an arctic zone characterized by freezing cold nights and burning sun during the day where the oxygen level is half that of sea level.