Yorkshire 3 Peaks
I set myself the target of pushing myself through the pain barrier this weekend in an attempt to forget England’s woeful performance in South Africa. The challenge had to be quite close to home so I could return on Saturday evening for my birthday meal with my family.
I programmed Horton in Ribbleside into the sat nav and set off wondering what time I could achieve on the Y3P. I had previously recorded a time of just over 12hours with friends but I suspected I could make a large dent into this time.
My pitch for the night was the Golden Lion field which was full of folks all attempting the walk. I eat a hearty meal of Sirloin steak and chips which was enjoyed in the warm evening sun before settling down for the night with Great Expectations……the Charles Dicken’s novel that is.
I was woken at about 5:30am, the campsite was alive with people all gearing up for the walk, I had planned on setting off at 8am but I took advantage and got up early. I cooked my breakfast then broke camp to head for the cafe which is the official starting point of the walk. It was closed so I posted my details through the door and set off at 6:30am.
The route was jam packed with around 300 charity walkers all doing their bit, this made navigation a doddle. The morning mist had settled on top of Pen-y-ghent where a werwolf was clocking in the charity walkers. I gave myself a minute or two to rest then headed off into the mist. The path splits into two and about 40 walkers were all scratching their heads, a group of older walkers were adamant people should take the left path, after checking the map I ignored the turnoff and assured a group of walkers it was the right path. I decided to jog the easy downhill sections to cover some ground, it was a tactic that did not leave me tired and it paid off in the end.
I walked to the food van near the viaduct with a lad from Grimsby called Paul who was walking for charity with a group of work mates, he was dealing quite well with the effects of the previous nights drinking session and we shared some good banter. On the way up Whernside I pushed on solo and made sure I did not stop on the uphill sections to keep up my chance of getting a reasonable time. On the top of Whernside I stopped for 15 minutes to eat lunch, the views from the top were perfect and I was really enjoying myself.Looking at my times I estimated I was on for between 8 and 9 hours which was better than I had hoped for.
I jogged along the long ridge of Whernside and then descended the painful steps going down from the summit, be warned this is prime blister territory. The sun was out and I decided to record a few video diary entries, these failed miserably and have since bene deleted, an external microphone could be a good idea for my new phone. I stopped for a quick orange juice at a local farm before heading to the base of the last peak Ingleborough.
I gave myself 5 minutes to rest before tackling the steep stone steps which take you to the top of Ingleborough, I paced myself and kept going until I was finally at the cairn sat on top of the summit. I was now wondering if I could actually make 8 hours. Heading down I was walking at quite a fast pace and passed many walkers, but two older walkers were on my heals and I couldn’t shake them. I ended up chatting with them and it turned out they were members of the LDWA which explained how quickly they covered the ground. They passed me and I made sure I kept their pace although they pushed me beyond what I would call a comfortable walking pace, it was closer to jogging than walking however when I reached the cafe the decision to tail these two had paid off ……7hours 16 minutes was my official time, nothing amazing but respectable for a walker.
The drive home was enjoyable and a family meal at a tapas ended an eventful day, well not quite…..a few drinks with the lads turned into an all nighter !!