2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge (proper post!) by gleavem
April 13, 2010, 8:20 pm
Filed under: friends, next challenge, Three Peaks | Tags: , ,

The Facts:

  • The Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge is traditionally completed within 12hrs.
  • It starts (and ends) in Horton in Ribblesdale in North Yorkshire.
  • It involves climbing (and descending) 3 hills; Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
  • We (7 enthusiastic walkers) did it on Easter Saturday 2010.

The Walkers:

  1. Shell (me)
  2. Sid
  3. Chris G
  4. Dan
  5. Nathan
  6. Chris R
  7. Emma

Pen-y-ghent 2

The Walk:

We met in the dining room of The Crown for a DIY breakfast and to sort out food and drink for the walk.  We set off at 7:20am, just 20 minutes after we’d intended, which wasn’t bad considering it was early and we hadn’t all walked together before.  As we left the pub there was a light drizzle so we were glad we’d all put our waterproof gear on.  As you’d expect there wasn’t much going on in Horton at that time in the morning, although we did see one or two other walkers.  Shortly after passing the church we saw two little lambs that must have been born during the night, they still looked dirty and wobbly – bless!  As we headed up to meet the Pennine way things didn’t start well for Chris G,  less than 30 minutes after we’d set off one of his poles broke, cue lots of frustration as he kept trying to fix it and it kept falling apart as he was walking – poor Chris!  We were passed by one speedy solitary walker early on, and another group soon caught us up.  However as we began the ascent proper of Pen-y-ghent we soon began to catch everyone else up and felt comforted that our steady pace was the way to go.  We made really good time to the summit, and everyone was still feeling really fresh and very happy to have conquered one summit before 9am – not your normal Saturday morning!

Pen-y-ghent  summit

Then came the bogs!  In the pub the night before, several walkers and locals had been full of stories of how awful the bogs were (apparently a 6′ 6” chap plunged into the bog up to his waist); some of us laughed it off, some looked concerned and some thought it would probably be bad, but manageable.  At the time I was a little annoyed with these prophets of doom as I felt they could have put off a couple of walkers, but in retrospect  they’d sort of prepared us for the worst-case-scenario which in the end turned out to not be far from the truth.  The descent started well, a little icy but a good clear path; gradually things got wetter and wetter, until it was proper bog-hopping time!  One by one our boots failed in their battle to keep the water out, until almost all of us had wet feet.  We tried to not let the bogs hold us up too much, keeping on a direct track as much as possible, except where things got really deep or really mucky.  I was amazed at how well everyone coped with his section of the walk, as not many of us had experience of these sorts of underfoot conditions.  Spirits remained high throughout, even when both Chris’ fell in!  Chris G managed a very stylish belly-flop type fall as he tried to jump a section of bog, and Chris R ended up submerged to the chest  after trying to test how deep a boggy stream was (very deep it turned out).

Which way

It was a long walk to Whernside down boggy paths, grassy paths, stony paths, tracks and road, but eventually we neared the Ribblehead viaduct.  We stopped near the tea van for our lunch, tucking into our sandwiches in the rain, still in good spirits.  Shortly after lunch the rain stopped, but more weather was not far away!  The path towards Whernside was fairly busy with both casual walkers and 3-peakers, but it was a good path and we put down a good pace as we pressed on towards the summit.  Hail!…it seemed we were destined to witness all weather today.  We continued on into the cloud, passing a poor woman who was very afraid of heights and not enjoying the walk at all.  The summit was windy, cold and cloudy so it was whiskey and brownies all round.  We met a chap and his dad training for the Caledonian challenge – sounded a bit much for me, but good luck to them.  The descent from Whernside was a little difficult, no bogs or swamps, but it was fairly steep and we passed the scared-of-heights lady again, edging down on her bottom!

Whernside Summit

Chris and Whernside

As we headed for the third and final peak, we were all doing fairly well.  A few aches and pains had arisen, and a few neurofen had been taken but considering how long we’d been walking, spirits were high.  Next surprise…sunshine! (and sheep eating coconuts).  It was a relatively short hop over to Ingleborough on good paths, passing some amazing limestone rock formations and a hole for wives (apparently).  Soon we were on our final ascent; a steep zigzag up the side of Ingleborough.  We gathered at the top of the steep section for a few jelly babies and to re-group for the final push to the summit.  The plateau summit of Ingleborough was bathed in glorious sunshine, the sea shimmering in the distance, fabulous views all around and lots of smiling faces.  Throughout the day we’d managed to stay slightly ahead of our estimated times but it was still going to need a good pace to make it back to Horton in time.  The path back to Horton was clear and dry, so we pressed on with Chris G (aka “the machine”) setting a blistering pace in the front.  Over the last few miles we spread out into 3 groups; the machines (Chris G and Dan), the steady eddies (Sid, me and Nathan) and the soggy one and his lady (Chris R and Em).

Glorious sunshine over Ingleborough

Ingleborough Summit

It was going to be close, Nathan was sure we weren’t going to make it back in time, and it was indeed close… Chris and Dan made it back in 11hrs 45mins, Sid, Nathan and I in 11h 49, whilst Em and Chris R just missed 12 hours (by a mere 5 minutes)!  These may not be record breaking times, but we also managed to have a good day in the process and remain friends!

We gathered outside the pub, peeled off our soggy boots and socks, and celebrated with pints (soft and alcoholic) and creme eggs (thanks Chris).  Then it was baths all round before a well-deserved dinner, birthday cake and a couple more drinks.  All day we’d joked about having a big session to celebrate, but we were all far too tired for more than a couple and went to bed before 11pm!  You can find more pictures here.

Celebrating the finish

Our Yorkshire 3 peaks was a fabulous day, due without doubt to the great people we walked with (and helped by a little sunshine).  It’s a walk I would definitely do again and a challenge I would recommend to anyone who fancies a very long day of walking.  Bonyag!!!


Yorkshire 3 Peaks (post 1) by gleavem
April 11, 2010, 6:50 pm
Filed under: friends, next challenge | Tags: , ,

We’ve just returned from a little holiday ooop north, which began with the Yorkshire 3 peaks last Saturday.  I shall post lots more details and photos soon, but for now here’s a little montage Sid put together as a taster (I think it’s super).


By the way the walk was FABULOUS!!

Guess what we’re doing this year! by theshed
January 24, 2009, 10:32 pm
Filed under: next challenge | Tags: