We did it!
In the pouring rain and very heavy cloud we completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in 14 hours 15 minutes!
On Saturday 18th July we woke up with the sound of heavy rain falling on the tents and looked out at our view of Pen-y-Ghent from the campsite… make that NO view of Pen-y-Ghent! We couldn’t see it at all! A whole mountain wasn’t there due to the low cloud.
At this point we were unsure if we should go or not, would it be too dangerous. However passing past the campsite and through the village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale was such a large number of walkers, all obviously setting out to do the 3 peak challenge, we decided to give it a go. We had a number of escape routes planned and we were going to assess our progress up the first peak, then decide if we should continue.
So.. with this as our view.. at 7.45am we started up the first peak, Pen-y-Ghent.
We walked through low cloud and heavy rain for around 2 hours and finally reached the top! A stone trig point on a long, level point of the peak. Pen-y-Ghent: 694 metres (2,276ft).
1st one done!
We had a quick break, checked everyone was okay and carried on.
The next peak, Whernside, is located far away from Pen-y-Ghent. We walked for hours across semi-flat terrain, crossing around a mile of treacherous bogs that you have to navigate around and jump/run over or risk sinking waist deep. But finally the great viaduct, the starting point of the next peak, and Whernside itself were in sight.
To get up Whernside you have to circle around it to then go up the side and all along the top. So it takes some time. However the climb is not very hard and we got up in around 2 hours. Whernside stands at 730 metres (2,415t) which makes it the largest peak in the Yorkshire Dales.
The weather was now clearer but rather windy and cool. At 4pm we made it to the top!
Here is the only photo of us all, at the top of Whernside, with Ingleborough, the 3rd peak, in the background.
Diabetes UK gave us each a t-shirt to wear on our walk. Unfortunately it was too cold and wet to have our t-shirts on display but we whipped our coats and jumpers off for a photo.
The path down from Whernside was rather steep and a couple of us struggled with knee pain (I know that makes us sound very old). At the bottom of Whernside we were doubting if we’d make it over Ingleborough and back to the campsite in a reasonable time. At this point we were sure we wouldn’t make it in 12 hours, but how much longer was the problem. Looking at the map the only way home was over Ingleborough, or along B roads which worked out as a couple of miles longer. We decided we may as well carry on and do Ingleborough then!
Off we went, heading for the final peak, that now had an ominous cloud hanging around its summit.
As you get to the bottom of Ingleborough it climbs dramatically up, very steeply. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of this as I was too tired, and too busy concentrating on how the hell we were going to get up there safely. But off we went. Climbing with hands and feet we walked/climbed up the steep, rocky “path”. The only way I can describe it is like walking up very steep rock steps. As we got higher it we joined the cloud and therefore got rather wet.
A final push and we were at the top! Success! 3 peaks done!! Now just to get the hell home. At this point it was around 7pm.
We set off on the way down, not 100% sure that we were on the path as all it consisted of was a pile of rocks, and unable to see 100ft in front of us. We walked and walked, finally dropping out of the cloud, and at 10pm we reached the Pen-y-Ghent cafe. The clocking out and in point of the 3 peak challenge. We clocked in, just to say we were back safe, and dragged ourselves the extra 500 yards to the campsite. A hot shower and a beer later and we were soon fast asleep in bed.
Despite the rough weather and how long it took us I have to say, I enjoyed myself. I never found too much of the walk challenging, some of the up hill climbs were hard and the bog especially was draining. Being wet and muddy was also not nice. However the speed we did it in was down to this being the first, and longest, day walk that two of our group members had ever done. Therefore completing in 2 hours 15 minutes longer the expected time for adequate walkers is really not that bad! Considering that they’ve never walked half the distance before and the weather conditions.
The goal was to raise money for charity, and to complete it. Not to do it in a certain time. And that’s just what we did.
At the moment our total estimate raised is around £700. However if you have read my story and feel like we deserve some recognition for our achievements, please dig deep and donate!
My just giving page: http://wwww.justgving.com/theruthturner with accept donations for 3 months after the event and the money is paid straight to Diabetes UK through my event.
Any amount is great.
However by taking time to read this is enough for me and all I want to do now is share our story and achievement that I’m extremely proud of.