Aug 06 2011

Walk 34 – Sponsored Yorkshire Three Peaks – Ramblo

Hull Pot Beck

route: pen-y-ghent, whernside and ingleborough from horton-in-ribblesdale
6th August 2011
distance: 23.4 miles
ascent: 5,227 feet
time: Various – see below
walkers: Ben, Chris, Cleo, Dave, Dave H, Graham, Jane, Janet, John, Kate, Katie, Lucy, Matt H,
Matt S, Marc, Mark, Sandra, Shalini, Simon, Stav & Tony
You can still sponsor us – by clicking here


The story of…. Ramblo, a recent three peaker

Six weeks ago I said I would never, ever do the three peaks again. But something drew me back. I told myself that it was the weather that had made it hard, and that on a nicer day it would be a different experience altogether……

On Saturday the 6th August 2011 I did in fact revisit the three peaks, this time for charity. I considered paying the £203 sponsorship money myself so I didn’t have to do it, and it would have been worth it. But I did do the walk because it was for charity, and because I can, unlike others who wished they could do it but they are not well enough. We should be grateful for what we have, and what we are able to do.

My preparation for the walk began the week before, with a healthy eating plan and an alcohol ban – extreme I know! On the night before the walk I was in bed by 9.00pm. I didn’t sleep much that night, maybe it was the fear of what was to come. I wasn’t looking forward to the walk, but I knew I could do it, even though it would be hard. Getting up at 5.00am was hard, but we managed. We picked Beaky’s dad up (support team) and set off along the ring road. We passed the minibus with the others in and when they went straight on as we turned left towards Bradford, Beaks confidently informed us that we were going the quicker way. We believed him until, as we waited for a gap to pull onto the roundabout at The Old Tramshed, the minibus appeared from our right!

We arrived in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and stood in a cloud of midges for about half an hour (bites are itching as I type…) and then after photos set off for the challenge.

Pen-y-Ghent was as expected, tough from the start. But for some reason, maybe familiarity, I knew what was coming and that seemed to help. The weather was ok, not sunny but not raining, a bit of spitting now and then, but the fleeces were off and we were feeling hot. At the left turn I was tired, but the change of landscape seems to bring a new surge of energy. I had teamed up with Lucy, and we seemed to have roughly the same pace on this. As I approached the trig I asked another three-peaker to take my picture while Lucy continued her walk. I was photographed with a dog – laughing as the dog had cheekily licked my face a second before the photo was taken!

I was happy to have ticked off peak 1. I set off for the walk to checkpoint 1 at Ribblehead, happy that the weather had held out and that I felt pretty good. I caught up with Lucy and we chatted as we strolled down the hill and negotiated the bog – nowhere near as bad as the last time I did it. We trekked and chatted all the way along to the Ribblehead viaduct –and Lucy convinced me to jog a bit at one point, noooooooo!

After a quick cuppa and a sandwich we set off up Whernside. The weather had taken a turn, and what had been a bit of rain coming off Pen-y-Ghent had turned into thunder and lightning as we set off up Whernside. I did wonder about how intelligent it was to be on the highest peak in Yorkshire when it was lightening! Whernside is the one I was dreading, it just goes on and on, and it’s deceiving too. I left Lucy about half way up and just before the top I caught up with Janet. We walked the last bit together and had our photos taken at the summit..

Luckily, by the time I got to the top of Whernside the thunder and lightning had stopped and the sky had cleared giving a lovely view back down to the viaduct. So it was better than last time then… After a brief pause I set off again, and as I can do downhills and flat I was soon on my own again. Coming down Whernside is scary – and even more so in the wet. I was really pleased to get down on to the path that leads up past the farm selling extremely expensive squash! It was here that I met up with Jane and the gang, and the welcoming party – Lord Badger and G. I chatted to Jane as we walked along the road to the second checkpoint. I was still feeling pretty good (surprisingly), and although I struggle up the hills I seem to recover quickly. A second cup of tea and a sandwich and we were off again – keen to make the 12hrs deadline. I was able to get in front again on the flat, but I knew the gang would pass me again as soon as we started to climb – and I was right! As I headed through the gate and started the ascent of Ingleborough, sure enough Jane and the group passed me by as I puffed and panted at the side of the path. I was relieved to reach the scrambly bit as this seems to be a sign that you are almost there! But it took me a while, and lots of stops to get up there. At the top there was a little more climbing to reach the summit and this was the first time that day that I felt as tired as I had the last time we did the three peaks. My legs turned to lead. But we had past the point of no return and there was no choice but to push on. 10 minutes later I was wandering across a spooky moonscape trying to locate the trig at the top of Ingleborough. I had a photo taken with my new husband (G) and Janet, then we headed down.

Many people have said that there’s no point thinking you’re done when you get to the top of Ingleborough because there’s a looooong walk back to Horton in Ribblesdale, but that’s exactly how I have felt both times. I get a sheer sense of relief that the climbing is over, and my energy returns for the final push. Again I soon find myself alone, chasing the red coats in the distance that belong to Jane and Marc. It takes me a while to catch up as they are obviously moving at the same pace as me. But as I do catch them it’s at the signpost saying we have two miles to go – and joy of joy, two hours to do it in! Woohoo! As we walk and talk the sun comes out (at last!) and the stroll back into the village is like a stroll on a lovely summers day. I’m really pleased to find that we have a welcoming party in the car park – I thought they’d be in the pub to be honest!

I march on to the café to get my time recorded – 10hrs 45mins – get in!

Once changed we wait for the last walkers to arrive back, and are chuffed that we all completed the three peaks in less than 12hrs. A well earned pint in the pub and then we were off home.

Again I said I would never do that again, but less than a week later…. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



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