Yorkshire Dales Walks
Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk
Date: 17th September 2005
Distance: 24.4 miles
Ascent: 5268 feet
Time: 11 hours 21 mins
With: Matt and Jo
Start Grid Ref: SD807725
My second attempt at the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge walk actually took me longer despite the finer weather.
Route Summary: The traditional Three Peaks route, with a few variations, starting and finishing at Horton-in-Ribblesdale visiting in turn Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
1. About to set off from just outside the Pen-y-Ghent café
2. Pen-y-Ghent - the first peak of the day
3. Pen-y-Ghent from the Pennine Way
4. The steep section on the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent
5. Our mascot 'Phil' on the top of Pen-y-Ghent
6. The Pennine Way as it descends Pen-y-Ghent
7. Looking across Ribblesdale towards Ingleborough
8. The River Ribble with Whernside in the distance
9. A steam train crosses the Ribblehead viaduct
10. Jo at the foot of the final steep climb on to Whernside
11. Matt and Jo on the top of Whernside
12. Ingleborough from the approach to Humphrey Bottom
13. Jo nearing the top of the path out of Humphrey Bottom
14. At the top of Ingleborough
15. Looking back towards Simon Fell
16. Limestone pavement on Sulber
Walk Detail: This was my second Yorkshire Three Peaks walk and this time Matt and I were joined by his then partner, Jo. Also accompanying us as our mascot was Phil the Printer (at the time I worked for Cartridge World).
This time we also wanted to take the opportunity to raise some money for charity, in this case Cancer Research, a charity that had special resonance with Jo in particular.
Of all the walks that I completed in 2005 there are only two that I did not write up any notes at the time so I've had to cast my mind back over five years for my memories of the day.
We posted our entry slips through the letterbox of the Pen-Y-Ghent café at 7.36am (I know the exact time as I still have my entry slip) and set off in conditions which were a massive improvement on those Matt and I had experienced the previous year.
Jo had done some really good long walks in preparation for this walk but whether Matt and I set off too fast or whether the pressure of the first climb was too much but Jo very quickly began to struggle. Before we'd even reached the Pennine Way she was in tears and all in all it was a very stressful experience for everyone.
At that point I privately didn't think it was a good idea for her to carry on but she was very determind to do so and in many ways I think the long haul between Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside actually helped to regain her composure and settle into a walking rhythm.
Prior to climbing Whernside we halted for our main stop of the day below Ribblehead viaduct which allowed us all to recharge our batteries. Having tested the route out in May this time we climbed Whernside via Winterscales Pasture. While this requires a final steep pull to the top it did seem to be quicker than the standard route.
This time I was positively looking forward to the steep climb up to Ingleborough from Humphrey Bottom but I was beginning to get some tightness in my right hamstring. Matt too was beginning to suffer with the same knee problem that all three of us had struggled with at some point that year.
Fortunately my hamstring settled down and I was able to once again enjoy the final climb up on to Ingleborough, although disappointingly a rogue patch of low cloud temporarily obscured the views from the summit.
The long walk back to Horton became quite a challenge for both Jo and especially Matt whose knee was now giving him quite severe pain. Eventually was all limped into the Pen-y-Ghent café at 6.55pm. We had completed the walk within the requisite 12 hours though at the same time it had actually taken us longer than on our first attempt.
Considering the state Jo was in climbing Pen-y-Ghent I think it says a lot about her courage and determination that she gritted her teeth and carried on. It was a remarkable effort and we may well have got close to or equalled our previous time had injuries not slowed us down on the final slog back to Horton.