Monthly Archives: March 2016

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Last year I planned to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks but because of a long drive down from Scotland the day before, it didn’t happen. Just too damn tired to get up early enough to start.

So when I planned my walks this year I wanted to try a few micro-adventures or days out walking and figured why not get a train and do this. It’ll be good training.

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First impression of Horton? It really is in the middle of no where. One pub and the Peny-Ghent cafe (which never seemed to be open) Not even a shop to buy provisions. Luckily I had a few things and my hosts were very friendly. Even acting as a taxi service to and from the pub, the station and the start point of the walk. I can’t recommend staying at the Pen-y_ghent B&B enough and if I find myself doing more walking in the area I will be back. 

When I got off the train and looked over at Pen-y-Ghent I couldn’t see it. It was covered in mist which was fine with me. I managed to catch another look later on and there was patches of snow. Even better. I like a challenge.

I ate a hearty meal at the pub and went back to the accomodation. Having had a late night previously it was very welcome and I embraced sleep.

My alarm kicked into life at 05:30 and I dragged myself up. Not even god was awake that early but I wanted a good crack at the time.  

After an excellent and very filling breakfast I was dropped off and set off towards Pen-y-Ghent. The weather was overcast and cloudy but there was no rain forecast. It wasn’t warm but not freezing. Perfect conditions.

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Pen-y-Ghent

Pen-y-Ghent wasn’t that bad with a nice little scramble. I was up in under an hour with a nice easy descent. I had planned my own route down towards Whernside to save some time and it seemed to have done the trick.
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I arrived at the foot of Whernside and was up by 11:30. I couldn’t believe the time I was making. However the descent really took its toil on me and I started to flag.

By the time I got to Ingleborough my legs were aching but I powered through. Ingleborough was by far the hardest of the three. There is a slow steady ascent to the foot with a steep scramble up to the top.

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Ingleborough.

 

The flat top offered little protection from the cold wind so I had a 5 minute break and walked back down to finish at Selside. The traditional finishing point is Horton but I’m not one for collecting trophies. I had got round the peaks in under 8 hours and could have easily made it to Horton. But this was a training exercise with Hadrians Wall in mind for the weekend after so I had done enough

The question was how I would feel after a long day’s walk with a couple of peaks to climb. Truthfully? I was stiff but the stretches I was given helped. And after a day? My ankle feels a little stiff (I felt it go a little coming down from Whernside) but overall I’m good.

Lessons learnt? Concentrate. I missed a feature and it made my life harder. I recovered but if I had caught it sooner I would have saved myself some aggravation. 

Also realised I could survive a long day on a good breakfast, a bag of jelly babies and trail mix. And plenty of water. Although I wont be doing that every day for 2-3 months.

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Why Do This?

I’m just a normal guy from Newcastle. From an early age I was always interested in the outdoors and travel. I was a member of the cubs, then the scouts.

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Me at my first night at cubs

I joined an outdoor activity group at school when I got older and went away for weekends around the Cheviots backpacking or staying in outdoor centres before moving on to the DoE.

My Dad is a keen walker himself having completed the Pennine Way a few years ago and he used to take me out walking with him. I also got the chance to travel abroad with my mother, brothers and grandparents. I still remember my first trip on a plane and my Granddad pretending to pedal to get the plane going.

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Canoeing at Lightwater Valley with Granddad and brother.

While my childhood wasn’t without problems I had a good upbringing and was lucky to have the opportunities I did to go out and make my own adventures. The kids that the Youth Adventure Trust help don’t have those opportunities and so I made the decision to try and raise some money to help.

This charity rely on donations to keep going and the work they do is awesome. They take vulnerable or disadvantaged children and put them on an outdoor programme to learn skills and build their confidence up. They show them that there are good things in life and that they have a future.

I never had to be a full time carer for my grandmother at 11. Or had to walk two hours because my parents didn’t care enough to drop me off at a bus stop to go away for a weekend with school. Or actually just take me places. Some of the things I have read and have been told were heartbreaking and will keep me going throughout the walks. Not only that but the support of my friends and family, and in particular my nieces and nephews, whom I want to share my experiences with.

Through my walks I want to inspire kids and adults to realise that there is a whole country to explore on their doorstep. They don’t have to climb Kilamanjoro or ride a bike across the desert (although great if they do) Everyone has the ability to go on adventures whether it be a day, a weekend or a few months. Just dare to take that step, have the heart to carry it through and the rest will fall into place. 

I just need your help. I’m up for the challenge (and it will be tough) so please visit my Just Giving Page and donate what you can. And please share the link with your friends and family.

Thanks