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’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:
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
I must be mad. Or driven by fear that I really need to get in shape. So my solution? Train for the National 3 peaks challenge by doing the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge.
On 16th July to be exact.
Which is not long now.
So less typing and more planning for that I think!
If you want to support me on that, here is my JustGiving donation page.
right, back to the training plan