I wasn’t planning to do the Yorkshire 3 Peaks this year but I attended a briefing session this week with Simon On The Streets* and before the meet I had a look on the site and realised they were planning a fundraising challenge.
They have a team doing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks on 31st May, so not that long to prep – but I’ve signed up and I’m planning to get fitter by then (says me, having a beer or 3 too many on Friday and Saturday night, doh).
I’ve taken part in the Y3P twice now (see links below) and actually this time it seems more daunting, if anything. When you have a good idea where the long trudges will be, where the steep climbs mean you have to dig in, where The Bog is.. well, it’s definitely as much as mental as physical challenge this time around!
I’m just hoping for some suggestion of good weather
Well, the Yorkshire 3 peaks was a game of 2 halves for sure. The morning, starting at Horton in Ribblesdale at 6.30 a.m (actually, starting at 3.30 a.m at home) was shrouded in misty fog (one above mist but just below thick fog if you know what I mean) and drizzle. Which continued up and over Pen-Y-Ghent and up to the top of Whernside or so. With the bog section from last year being really, really boggy this year. I think everyone we walked with or saw on the trail plunged at least one boot into the bog at some point.
And then the sun burned away the low cloud and the final 5 hours or so were hot and sunny and with fantastic views in the valley across to Ingleborough and then up on the top of it.
My walking compadres were Adrian. Andy and son Joe. None of them had met each other before but there was surprisingly a lot in common between the actor, the professor specialising in Alzheimer’s research and the recent geology graduate. A love of the hills for one thing. But also an enjoyment of swapping science facts along the route. I joined in when I wasn’t trying to breathe, hauling myself up Whernside and Ingleborough
There were surprisingly a lot of folk out, for what was the end of summer and a lot were raising money for their chosen charities - so hats off to them all.
I raised just over £300 for Simon On The Streets, who do great work with rough sleepers, so I’m personally chuffed. And also chuffed to have completed the challenge itself again. And also also chuffed to have spotted a purse right at the top of Ingleborough , to one side of the path towards the trig point and to have got it back to its owner at the end of the day, thanks to her business card being in there.
And a big THANK YOU to those who sponsored me (you can see who these kind folk were on this site).. much appreciated!
Here’s some photos – once again taken on my cameraphone, so not great depth of field or detail – but hopefully they give you a sense of the challenge. It’s a lovely part of the world and I’d recommend it if you haven’t visited before.
Click on the first photo if you want to see a close-up slideshow thing (I’m trying it out).
I’ve had a couple of trips away of late, so this weekend I was determined to get out and get moving in prep for the upcoming Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge I’m doing (raising money for homeless charity Simon On The Streets). Saturday looked like the best day so that was the plan. A ‘proper’ walk, come what may. What I hadn’t planned for though, was just how long the (excellent) Olympics opening ceremony would go on for.. and how heavy the red wine I was drinking would be. Oops.
Saturday was therefore a bit of a slow start. And my reluctance to get up the hills wasn’t helped by the rain that started just as I was getting Brodie’s harness on. Anyway – rain,schmain – off we went, though neither of us in particularly high spirits!
I had planned (in my head) a route that would start out from the back of the garden (always a good place to start) and go straight up the hill to the catch-water near Shooters Nab above Marsden. The climb felt a bit hard this time (first time for a long time actually). I was a bit dehydrated and I was cursing myself for not drinking more water before I set off. There was approximately 10 miles ahead of us so I stopped to swig some water rather than start with a headache.
The route described a southerly, then west to north-westerly loop up above the Wessenden valley on the heritage trail and then joining the Pennine Way near the Deer Farm and heading over the moors between Swellands and Black Moss reservoirs towards the Oldham Way / Pennine Way.
The part between the Deer Farm and Swellands Res is one of my favourite parts of the moors whether rain, snow or (occasional!) blue sky. Walking down the little steep sided valley to the river (Wessenden Brook) and the wooden bridge, past the waterfall and then up the steepish hill to the phone mast (and Heritage Stone number X (can’t remember which one that is.. 11?)) is a nice little section and gets your heart going.. more so with a dog pulling you downhill sniffing out sheep and rabbits (every time).
We stopped for a quick lunch of cheese sandwich just after Black Moss res (Brodie being a bit partial to cheddar) before heading over the A62 and on to the impressive cliffs looking over Castleshaw reservoirs. I could have spent ages here poking around the interesting shapes of the rocks but would have had a bored dog to contend with.
I shot a short video near the Oldham Way / Pennine Way Cairn – Warning : terrible sound quality due to the incessant winds ..
We then headed a bit further north before turning east / south east, down Willykay Clough and down to Eastergate and the final tramp back into Marsden.
So about 10 or 11 miles in all and I had reckoned about 4.5 / 5 hours to complete. Which it turned out to be.
And after that first shower we had patchy blue skies but (very) strong winds to contend with over the first 3 or 4 hours or so (it got a bit wearing actually).
I’m glad I got out despite the initial reluctance and a few more 5+ hour walks to get fit for the 3 peaks are on the cards
If you enjoyed this post and admire my grit in fighting a mild hangover,
why not sponsor me for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks:
I’m going to be doing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge later this year – raising money for Simon On The Streets and this post isn’t so much about fund-raising .. I’ll be on that soon enough .. but more a prompt for me to get fitter (e.g now I’ve publicly committed to it!).
Saturday 8th September. That’s the day. As this isn’t an ‘official’ event challenge, I’m sorting out the details myself (but via the helpful 3 peaks site at http://www.thethreepeakschallenge.co.uk/ ).
I’ve got some friends doing it with me although I think maybe I’m the only one doing it for charity (or for SOTS anyway).
They don’t all know each other and some I don’t get to meet up much with ‘in real life’ – so this will be a great social / shared experience.
And also this is an invite for any of my hiking friends to join me if you like. It would be great to meet some of you in person. I think, based on the blogs that I follow, that pretty much all of you are more dedicated mountaineers than me, so the 3 peaks may not be so much of a challenge for you .. but you do get to see me in all my red-faced, out-of-breathe glory :-)
I did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks a year ago (http://halfwayhike.com/2011/07/18/3-peaks-1-monsoon-and-some-cola-bombs-completing-the-yorkshire-3-peaks-challenge/) and the weather was pretty awful.
Here’s hoping for bluer skies this year (a late summer maybe?)
Me, in ‘action’ last year:
So, I’ve decided that before I attempt the national 3 peaks I need to make sure I can find my way up and down them. Obviously paper maps are a must – actually, learning to read one properly is a must also – but I’m a geek so I also want to try out a GPS system. I’ve looked at the dedicated units and they look really cool – the expensive colour screen ones do anyway. Of course, always the way – I really like the full bells and whistles versions of things.
But I noticed a while back (and I think I’ve mentioned here before) an App from viewranger that works on the HTC phone (running Android) that I have.
Its taken me most of this evening to set up an account, suss out how to get credits registered (via my Paypal account, which is nice and easy of course) and have a quick look at what maps you can buy, so I haven’t really got a view on how it all works yet. Although I’ve had a really quick look at the wiki, which is good – and the fledgling / beta community area. What I haven’t done yet is download any maps or get my head around the actual App interface. Which looks feature rich – or in other words a bit (initially) tricky for me to digest in on evening after a mental day at work.
So I’m going to give it a real go this weekend with some small (ish) hills around Saddleworth.
Better to suss the App out there than for the first time in earnest halfway up Scarfell Pike..
I realised two things tho – my phone isn’t waterproof and also the battery life on The HTC Desire HD sucks. Bit better than an iPhone but still it wouldn’t last one mountain trek, let alone the 3 Peaks in 24 hours.
Problem one has been solved by buying this : http://www.aquapac.net/worldstore/land-electronics-phone-pouches-1054-0.html
Which looks good and is going to be better than the sandwich bags (oh yes) I’ve been using as rain protection to date
I now need to find a great solar charger attachment gizmo for Problem 2 and the extended hours out and about.
Review of Viewranger (the App and the extended community / wiki / guides support etc) to follow