Yorkshire 3 Peaks
The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is no easy challenge – 24 miles and about 1600m of ascent in less than 12 hours. Unlike the National 3 Peaks challenge, this is one continuous walk and of similar distance although less ascent.
The three peaks that you ascend are Pen-y-ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m) but there is also a fair amount of flat(ish!) terrain and some long but gentle ascents, which can make for some fast walking if the legs are up to it.
There is a fell race which does this route annually in April and the record time which was set in 1996 is an amazing 2 hours 46 mins! However our focus is to get clients around this challenge in a realistic walking time, with an aim to do it under the 12 hour challenge time. No matter whether it is 10 hours or 13 hours it is an awesome achievement and your legs will know about it the next day!
The group I guided around the route last week were a corporate group from Holland. Some were regular hill walkers and a few were first timers but they were a fit and determined group and we walked most of the route at a cracking pace only slowing slightly on the last section when some had problems with sore feet and knees.
The tea van at Ribblehead was as ever a welcome sight for a cup of tea, and a few egg and bacon butties were happily consumed, supplementing the rather inadequate packed lunch the hotel had provided!
Although the day had started with some rain, the cloud was off the summits by the time we reached them. Unfortunately, the midges were out in their hoards sending us off the summit rather quicker than we would have liked.
The descent from the last summit is long when your legs are tired but it goes over some beautiful interesting limestone countryside – lots of limestone pavement and wild flowers. However the end was in sight and the thought of a well-earned pint in the Golden Lion spurred everyone on – a great finish to a long and satisfying day.
Well done all and thanks for your great company.