Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge

Jess and I got back Sunday night from a weekend trip to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We did the trip with some other folks who belong to an adventure club based here in London. The hike involved climbing the three highest peaks in the dales (Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough) in a single day. The “goal” is to finish within 12 hours in order to join the Yorkshire 3-Peak Challenge club.  We covered 24 miles including all that elevation gain and loss.

the view of Whernside from the doorway of our stone hut

the view of Whernside from the doorway of our stone hut

Medieval church in starting town of Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Medieval church in starting town of Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Tiny bits of needle-sharp snow were driven sideways into our chapped faces by unrelenting wind.

yorkshire-three-peak-028

Ascending Whernside (peak 2 of 3)

Ascending Whernside (peak 2 of 3)

Climbing through/over one of the many stiles in this sheep-filled hike

Climbing through/over one of the many stiles in this sheep-filled hike

The last hour and a half was hiked in the dark, through bogs, with a gentler snow.  In the car on the way back to our stone hut, one Englishman said, “You know, we were actually pretty lucky with the weather today” and all the other native Britons in the car murmured assent and nodded yes yes. I sat in the corner wanting to weep or laugh or I don’t know what.  It was the most pathetic thing I’d ever heard–that THAT was comparably GOOD weather to them… poor pathetic bastards. I shared this ironic moment with them the following day over a breakfast of black pudding, bangers, baked beans and deep-fried toast and they chuckled and agreed it was quite depressing, as they sipped their tea.

This was our pit stop before the ascent of the third and last peak, Ingleborough.  This pub is called the Craven Heifer or the Slug and Lettuce or something like that.  In twelve hours I never once had to go behind a bush; I always had access to a flushing loo when I needed to go.  I'm not used to hiking 24 miles in the wilderness but somehow taking rest stops in pubs along the way.  Mind you, I COULD get used to it.

This was our pit stop before the ascent of the third and last peak, Ingleborough. This pub is called the Craven Heifer or the Slug and Lettuce or something like that. In twelve hours I never once had to go behind a bush; I always had access to a flushing loo when I needed to go. I'm not used to hiking 24 miles in the wilderness but somehow taking rest stops in pubs along the way. Mind you, I COULD get used to it.

On top of Ingleborough in the waning light.  Luckily, dusk lasts forever in this northern latitude.

On top of Ingleborough in the waning light. Luckily, dusk lasts forever in this northern latitude.

Huddled behind a stone windbreak

Huddled behind a stone windbreak

Along the way we passed through a small village called Bracken Bottom, which takes its place among other illustrious sites in the UK such as Penistone and Priest Hole.

One member of our group–a self-described Gadget Whore–was telling us earlier in the day about his new favorite toy, an extremely bright bicycle light, which makes his commute down Charing Cross Road in London safer.  (“Pedestrians think I’m a motorcycle!” he said, proudly).  Well, I wasn’t making fun of the Gadget Prostitute when night fell and we were straggling through the aforementioned rocky, sloppy bogs in the dark and I discovered that my headlamp’s batteries were dying.  Gadget Whore saved our arses.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge

  1. It WAS good weather. It may be pathetic, but you just wait till you go leaping about in some Welsh bog in the pissing hail/rain/slush and you’ll think “gosh, wasn’t the 3 peaks easy sailing…?” You genius writer you. x

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