Not to be confused with the UK’s National 3 Peaks (which takes in the 3 highest mountains of England, Wales and Scotland) or the Welsh 3 Peaks, The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is a 24 mile (39k) circular walk mostly in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The most popular starting point is Horton-in-Ribblesdale and, going anti-clockwise takes in Pen-y -Ghent (@694m/2,277ft), Whernside (@736m/2,415ft) and Ingleborough (@723m/2,372ft), giving a total ascent of over 1,500m or 5,000ft.
My younger brother, Steve, has had this ‘challenge’ on his tick list for a while and when he mentioned it last year, I said I’d do it with him. I thought it might be good training for my marathon in April, so we arranged to do it last weekend. I mentioned it to my daughter, Sarah, as her boyfriend Karl is also running a marathon (Oslo) later in the year, and also to my mates Pete, Dave and Liam, and they all decided to come along.
As these things need to be planned in advance, we couldn’t guarantee what the weather would be like, but we did have a choice of Saturday or Sunday to do the walk. So it was mist and fog versus rain most of the day, and we chose the former.
All was going well until about a third of the way round. First, I slipped on some grass going down to a stream, then, a few hundred metres later, Pete took a tumble. Both of us were OK, though a bit damp and muddy, until disaster struck… A few moments later, almost simultaneously, my brother Steve, did a cartoon-style, legs flailing to keep his balance, backwards fall and I slipped onto my right side and jabbed my ribs hard with my elbow. Steve was fine, but I was winded to say the least and from then on every deep breath was painful – which is not good when you have 2 more hills to climb. Luckily Steve had some Ibuprofen in his bag which helped to dull the pain.
We all made it over the final 2 peaks before I tripped and fell again, this time head first on the wet, rocky path down from Ingleborough, head-butting the ground (luckily missing the rocks). Apart from a bang on the knee, a grazed nose (see pic) and a cut finger, I was fine.
I mention these ‘events’, not for any sympathy, but as a warning to anyone who might go walking on wet, soggy grass – it’s a hazardous business.
But, despite all these little accidents and the poor visibility, everyone enjoyed the walk and we celebrated afterwards with a nice meal in the local pub and a few pints of hand-pulled real ale. 🙂 (I’ve added some pictures of some beer clips especially for my buddy, Jamesie, at 50in50marathonquest).
I apologise in advance for the number of photos posted below, particularly as they are quite poor quality, but I know some of my email followers will be interested to see most of them.