The Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge (Y3PC) began with an early 7am start on a cloudy Saturday morning on 20th May in the car park to the Golden Lion pub, Horton-in-Ribblesdale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Y3PC organisers had set up a registration tent in the car park and this is where I met up with some of the other CMN fundraisers – Val, Joe, Jess, Fiona, Emma, Gareth, Steve, Shelley, Frances and Kate.
We each had a very heavy backpack, stuffed with waterproof clothing, energy bars and drinks, to see us through the 25 mile circular challenge which included climbing the 3 highest peaks of the Yorkshire Dales; Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
The climb to the first peak, Pen- y-Ghent (694m), set the scene for pretty much the whole 25-mile challenge; incredibly pleasant in parts but also scary and both, mentally and physically challenging! We reached the rst peak at 9am and although initially shrouded in cloud, there was a moment when the clouds parted to reveal the stunning Yorkshire dales below! Only 2 Peaks to go!
The trek down Pen-y-Ghent, through Horton Moor, took us through some simply stunning scenery. In total the Y3PC had over 600 people taking part and the various people I met on the way each had their own personal story for doing the challenge – and each was inspirational!
The 13-mile trek to the 2nd Peak, Whernside (736m), seemed like it would simply go on forever but it was sooooo good to reach the first refreshment tent at the amazingly scenic Ribblehead Viaduct in the Ribblehead Valley at midday. After a few energy bars and some water, just as the muscles in our legs were beginning to stiffen up, we gathered our things to begin the assent of the Whernside Peak. In the distance we could see a long line of trekkers ahead of us, looking like ants marching in single file! The weather had remained bright with some welcomed cooler cloud and no sign of rain, but that began to change as we made our assent up Whernside. Despite a gentle winding climb, in parts by a railway line and some rivers, the weather began to change for the worse and heavy rain fell on us as we reached the Wherside summit at 2.30pm.
The rain somehow found a way to bypass my waterproofs and I was soaked through! This was the most mentally challenging part for me personally and I just wanted to move on quickly to dry off somewhere. The descent was treacherous as it was an almost vertical climb down a rocky route and many people were slipping (including me) due to a combination of mud and smooth rock. However we somehow all supported each other through this and as we reached the bottom of the peak the weather improved and the sun re-appeared whilst we trekked to the next refreshment tent at Chapel-le-Dale, arriving at about 4pm.
We stopped brie y at Chapel, in a busy pub garden, for a very welcomed hot tea and more (rather unpleasant) energy boosting snacks before we embarked on the nal leg of the challenge towards the 3rd Peak, Ingleborough (723m).
This ascent had its moments too, as a gentle trek turned into a near vertical climb up a rocky cliff that again needed some team encouragement and motivation for all of us!
At 6pm we reached the summit of Ingleborough and this felt like a huge achievement despite the numb feet, aching joints and physical exhaustion – we had finally made it! Val was first in our group to touch the Monument at the top of the peak and there were huge smiles all round and a real sense of achievement!
There were some amazing views from Ingleborough summit over the Yorkshire Dales towards Morecombe Bay and the Lake District – simply stunning!
Then the realisation dawned on us that reaching the final peak was far from the end of the adventure as we had to climb down and trek another 6 miles to the nish point – where we started in Horton-in Ribblesdale!
It is safe to say that this final leg of the challenge seemed to go on forever and at every brow of every hill I was expecting to see the Golden Lion pub, the finish line, and a cold pint! We reached the Golden Lion at about 8pm, just over 12 hours after we started, and we each received a certificate and a finisher’s medal! But at that moment it was the cold pint of lager that was the most satisfying thing!
We all agreed that the Y3PC had been a physically and mentally challenging endurance event but it was through some fantastic teamwork and support that we all got through some of the darker moments – and it was clear that everyone was on such a high! It is simply amazing so say that the CMN team raised an incredible £5,289.20.
On behalf of all of those that completed the Y3PC for CMN we would like to thank you for your very generous donations – and if you didn’t get the opportunity to donate and would like to then please visit our team page www.justgiving.com/teams/CMN3Peaks.
I look forward to the 2018 CMN challenge!