This was probably the toughest challenge I’ve taken on so far – certainly the longest in terms of distance travelled by foot and by time spent on the challenge.
On the road by 5.35, we were actually on the Challenge trail by approximately 8.15 a.m. The sunshine and cooling breeze were ideal climbing conditions, though we did meet a morning mist atop Ingleborough. From Ingleborough, we descended and cut across country to the lovely village of Horton. There, we paused briefly to take food on board, and pop into a local pub – but only to replenish water supplies. No alcohol on this trip!
From Horton, we began a steady rise up Pen-y-Ghent, which became increasingly intense, but the views from the top on such a fine day were a joy to behold. After descending Pen-y-Ghent, there was a far less intense, relatively sedate saunter over six miles of classic dales countryside which brought us to the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct.
From here, we trailed the railway track up on to Blea Moss and then veered off on to our final peak – Whernside, less intense than the other two, but a long, gruelling slog, nevertheless, particularly as our exhaustion levels were being pushed to their peak by this time.
It was 6.30 p.m. when we reached the summit, and quickly took on more food fuel to try and find the last bit of energy to complete the challenge. The seemingly endless descent was accompanied by fading light, and by the time we had completed the challenge, and arrived – full circle – at the foot of Ingleborough, darkness had fully descended.
However, our mood was light. The challenge is to complete the Three Peaks in twelve hours. We managed it in 11 hours and 48 minutes.
Massive thanks to Al De la Hoyde who kept me company, spurred me on and used his expert navigational skills to keep us on track and on time.
The Three Peaks challenge was undertaken to raise money to fund two Christmas parties, hosted by Urmston Grammar’s sixth form, one for children from Delamere School, the other for Local Senior Citizens. If you have not already donated, then you can still do so through ParentPay/Mr Dickson’s Three Peaks Challenge. A simple £1.00 donation from the family of every pupil in school will raise more than enough to ensure that we can bring some festive cheer to the community this Christmas time.
Report by N. Dickson