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’ll be on the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge when this post is published (Saturday 8th September) and then straight off the next day to help Mikron Theatre company break a narrowboat record (40 hours boating non-stop on a specific section of the waterways, blimey.)
So no post-challenge write-up for a while but hopefully I’ll be back in one piece soon
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos I took to drum up some sponsorship (http://justgiving.com/MarkKelly-Y3P ) on a couple of different social media channels.. trying to think of creative ways of standing out.
Have a good weekend.
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:
I’ve got two big walking dates in my diary for this year (so far) and I’m just beginning to fact-find about the first of them – a trip to Rum (Rùm) and a traverse of the Rum Cuillin. This will be in early May and I can’t wait. I’m excited for a few reasons, one is the obvious thing of getting out in to the wilds (including some camping and staying in a bothy) and of walking somewhere new - but I’m also intrigued by this part of the world. Despite being conceived (as a person, not as an abstract construct) on nearby Lewis and despite having a Scottish mother, I haven’t ever been to the Scottish islands. Shame on me. Hopefully this will be the first of a few excursions.
The other reason I’m excited is that one of my sons has been to Rum and his description of the island (despite the ticks) was captivating.. names like Trollaval are fantastic : Mountain Of The Trolls. In my head that’s a mashing together of the spirit of some of the isolated parts of Iceland we both saw and my childhood (and recent film-based) Tolkien recollections. And I saw Troll Hunter recently too, to add to my (probably inaccurate) imaginings of the strangeness of the place. Not sure if one will visit the bothy that I think we’re staying in .. but I’ll have my camera with me just in case. And not just Trolls but ghosts frequent the bothy too apparently .. even better
And judging by the photos I’ve seen from son Joe, on Flickr and on the blogs below, it looks to be a dramatic and beautiful place.
The second trip I’m planning and need to definitely, definitely get in shape for is the National 3 Peaks challenge which I’m sure everyone knows is 3 mountains in 24 hours. I’ll be doing that with and for a rough sleepers charity that I support called Simon on The Streets. More of that another time. I checked with my GP and I got the all-clear on the 3 peaks. I’ve climbed some big hills (that’s not a metaphor, well, it is a bit) in the last 18 months so I should be okay but it’s always good to check in with the doc. My blood pressure has regulated to a good level in the last few months – thanks to the medication no doubt but also by really cutting out salt, reducing the ridiculous amounts of coffee I used to drink and watching the processed food intake. Salt – don’t do it kids, it’s a killer.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to both trips!
More on Rum from a couple of great blogs I follow: