…okay, when I say ‘near’ Rotherham I mean the other side of Leeds and then some but still, the Yorkshire Dales is where I, along with the newly established and catchily named Walsall Walking and Cycling Club Sports & Social (‘WWACCSS’ for short), spent a few happy hours yesterday completing the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge.
As you may have seen previously on this blog, us police officers like a challenge and last year we made two attempts on the Welsh 14 Peaks, failing the first time and triumphantly succeeding the second.
We’d talked about doing Yorkshire’s own version of the national three peak dash and so at 4AM yesterday morning met up at Bloxwich Police Station for the drive up North.
I was a sleeping policeman for some of the drive so I couldn’t really tell you how long it took to get there but get there we did (despite my directions) and we set out onto the hills nice and early with one group aiming to complete all three peaks and another heading for a shorter route.
As you can see from the photos it was pretty warm yesterday which didn’t make the first ascent particularly welcoming but we slogged our way to the top of Pen-Y-Ghent and tapped the trig point before heading across the valley to Whernside, crossing the notorious bog on the side of Pen-Y-Ghent as we did so.
Whernside itself was climbed at midday, just as the sun was really flexing its muscle, and it probably didn’t help that the route we took involved ignoring/losing the footpath and scrambling up the steep side to the top but again as with Pen-Y-Ghent, we were rewarded with some fantastic views at the top.
Ingleborough was the last peak and so we dropped back into the valley, again paying only very loose attention to the paths, before winding our way up to the top and then down the other side into Horton-In-Ribblesdale where we had parked.
We managed to complete the twenty five mile route in a total of nine hours and eighteen minutes which we were happy with and so celebrated with great quantities of pub food which due to a power cut we ended up eating by candlelight.
For anyone interested in the Yorkshire Three Peaks, it’s definitely one I’d recommend and a good place to start if you’re thinking of trying one of the harder challenges such as the national Three Peaks or the Welsh 3000s. Best advice if you are interested is wear some decent boots and mind the bog – you will go up to your knees at some point!