So, I did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge, which only a few weeks ago I was genuinely doubting I’d be capable of doing. Go me. And Go all those other people who walked for between 10 to 12 hours (on average) to meet personal goals or raise money for the charity of their choice.
And to get out into the wilds of North Yorkshire.
Not that there was a lot to see unfortunately – the weather was appalling. Even if it had been Autumn it would have been bad – but summer? Pah. Most of the views (which I’m sure are stunning) of the peaks were obscured by low cloud / fog. And when the fog lifted, the rain continued. We must have had 5 hours of continuous rain at one point. Crossing boggy peat and grass plains meant my feet were soaked really early on – and any dry parts left were soon soaked further when some of the paths became streams.
I set off with my son Joe at 4.15 a.m to drive up to Horton in Ribblesdale to check-in with around 300 others or so who were under the banner of the Red Cross for the day. A few other groups and charities also had challenges running which meant that it was a bit crowded at points early on, waiting to climb a stile or steep path. But after a while the numbers spread out and with my hood up it felt more of a solo venture at times..
in fact there were times when all I could hear was the drumming of rain on my hood, the squelch, squelch, squelch of my feet and the sound of my laboured breath as I climbed steep inclines.
It sounds like I’m complaining but I’m not – I really enjoyed. I hate wearing a hood though and love to have my head free – but this bald man can only take so much water running off my shiny noggin and down my neck
If you’re thinking of doing the 3 Peaks there are charities like the Red Cross that arrange particular days – have a look at next years page here:
I got loads of useful tips and updates from them , they’ve got a twitter account for the challenge here: @Yorkshire3Peaks
The reference to the cola bombs in the post title was because as well as demolishing a bar of kendal mint cake, two pork pies, a sandwich and half a pack of nuts and berries, and loads of jelly babies (barf) I also tried some ‘hi energy’ cola energy blobs I’d bought at the camping shop checkout from the weekend before. Not sure if they gave me extra energy in truth but putting aside the sensation (I imagine) of eating an eye-ball, they were indeed refreshing.
So – Yorkshire 3 Peaks, done. Shame about the weather but it was really good to do it.
Thanks to son Joe for being a top travel companion and pace setter (okay – he was way ahead of me at times) and Steve-from-work who came along and joined my on the start of the third peak (Ingleborough).
And to Lucy-from-work who, with her Dad, did the challenge to support her sister who was raising funds for MIND. Those clumps and groups of people supporting each other meant a great vibe on the day. There were solo walkers too (I was going to do it solo myself at one point) and if you were experienced enough you probably wouldn’t need an organisation like the Red Cross to check you in and out and give you some drink and encouraging words but I’m sure they were welcome to those that came along on their own for the challenge.
And the medal I got at the end along with a really (really) lovely pint of Black Sheep made it all the more worthwhile.
Finally – thanks to everyone who sponsored me – so far I’ve raised about £320 for the Red Cross. I have to be honest and say my start point was to set myself a challenge for a whole range of reasons; some health, some personal – but being able to also raise money for an organisaton that in my view does great humanitarian things, is very rewarding in itself.
They do a challenge to Peru I noticed .. hmm.
Actually – its the National 3 Peaks for me next I think, in September. Now, I really do need to get sorted out for that one and learn how to read a map. And stock up on cola bombs.
Some more (very few unfortunately) photos of the day here over on my flickr account
As will be obvious from some of my initial posts, I’m pretty new at planning biggish walks/ hikes.
A site for planning hike routes I’ve stumbled over which is really good is the Ordnance Survey’s ‘getamap’ site / planning tool. This is UK only so I can’t point any USA vistors to a similar service but I’m sure one exists.
I think my friend Jeff mentioned it to me in passing and I googled it as it sounded like a really useful site for planning then printing bespoke maps. You pay for some features but the costs look good and if you’ve got a Garmin GPS system I think you can transfer data between the website and the handheld device. Nice – that’s a gadget for another day
I just centered on my village, looked at doing about a 10 mile walk this weekend to keep my hand (feet) in and having quickly plotted a route, I get a cool map. With automatically refreshed distances as I plot along the footpaths I choose to follow and estimated completion times at the bottom of the screen as I drew the route out. That’s really neat.
Actually, I extended the plotted route to 14 miles and according to Naismith’s rule, should take me just short of 6 hours.
I’d never heard of Mr Naismith before, always good to learn new facts.
Experienced hikers will know the service already but I’ve posted about it here if you are a hiking noob like me.
My route, for the curious amongst you: