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Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:37 am
by Derek T
I followed a route suggested by Mountain Coward from Horton in Ribblesdale; along the road to the butty wagon at the Ribblehead Viaduct; up and over Whernside from east to west; over Ingleborough from north to south; back to Horton and then up and down Pen-y-ghent.

It was a fantastic day out which I found very physically challenging and with a great sense of achievement in having completed "The Challenge" in 10 hours and 25 minutes :D

The first leg of the route was the long hawl up the road from Horton to Ribble Head. This did get a few miles behind me quickly but I don't think the pounding my knees and feet took on the hard surface done me any favours for what was to come later in the day. The butty wagon was a welcome sight...

The butty wagon at the foot of Whernside.jpg

After scoffing down my bacon roll I followed the crowds along the side of the railway track heading north east and then north west to the east ridge of Whernside. This is a fairly straight-forward ascent on a very good path all the way up to the summit of this featureless lump of rock. It was a good feeling to see that I was now at the furthest point from my car in Horton and I convinced myself that the rest of the day would be easy from here :?


Whernside summit.jpg

The descent down the south face of Whernside towards Chapel-le-Dale is steep and proved to be quite a strain on my old knees. When I reached the B6255 I made the mistake of not checking the map and turned right instead of left and added a 1/2 mile detour to my route. After turning back and trudging up the road I found the gate onto the path leading to Ingleborough. Again this is an easy path to follow, which is steep in places and takes you to the best ascent of the day from Humphry Bottom up to the ridge below Ingleborough summit. I'm not into scrambling so I found this to be quite exhilarating, especially in the stiff wind that was blowing across the north face. I passed a few tourists clinging to rocks and seemingly unable to move up or down which made me feel like a brave mountaineer until I realised that the only reason I was feeling brave was because I hadn't looked down :lol:


The steep ascent to Ingleborough.jpg

Looking west from Ingleborough summit.jpg

The descent towards Horton is easy but a very long trudge across a combination of rocky paths and limestone pavement. I felt really good for about the first three miles of this five mile stretch but it then seemed to take forever to get back to Horton. By this stage my feet were boiling and sore and my knees were aching and all I could think about was getting back to the car to take my boots off and rest. By the time I got to the car I had started to question how much I really wanted to climb Pen-y-ghent and I did consider giving up at that point as I was knackered and very sore. I then looked at the watch and realised that I was bang on the 8 hour target I had set for being at this point so that spurred me on. I put on fresh socks, ditched all non-essential items from the back-pack (such as the emergency 1.5 litres of water that had travelled 20+ miles without being touched) and I headed off past the school to climb the steep ascent. This seemed to take forever. My thighs and calfs were burning and my knees and feet really sore but I knew I had lots of time to get up and down within the 12 hours. It took me 1 hr 15 mins to reach the summit and all of a sudden the pains seemed to disappear. I knew this feeling would be short-lived so I decided to descend via the Pennine way to the north to avoid the steep descent of the route I had just come up. This added another mile to the route but it was worth it to avoid those steep rocks with very tired legs.


The final ascent to Pen-y-ghent.jpg

Pen-y-ghent summit.jpg

This was definitely the biggest physical challenge of my life and it's a great feeling to have completed it inside the time. I think my walk today will be more modest: perhaps to and from the kitchen a couple of times for another coffee and some painkillers :)

Thanks to Mountian Coward for the route information which made the navigation easy in an area of the world I had never visited before.


Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:07 pm
by mountain coward
I think people underestimate the challenge of this walk with it being in The Dales (I call it 'The Real 3 Peaks' as it was the original and you don't get a long rest in a vehicle in between each peak! :D ) - it's a pretty hard day. Having said that, I'd quite like to do it again but on a cooler day than the one we had - I was tempted to come with you but was working yesterday and know I hate the Bank Holiday traffic too much to venture up the Dales anyway during one. Did you clock in and out at the caff so you can get a certificate if you want one?

Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:15 pm
by Derek T
mountain coward wrote:I was tempted to come with you

I would be happy to do that sometime so long as you are happy to carry your spare socks, do Pen-y-ghent first and wait an extra hour for your bacon butty :lol:

mountain coward wrote:Did you clock in and out at the caff so you can get a certificate if you want one?

The queue at the Cafe was too much for my impatience to bear so I didn't bother. I'm not fussed about the certificate, knowing I have done it is good enough for me :D

Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:06 pm
by mountain coward
My spare socks were living in the car - I thought that my hot socks, when left in the car at the 2/3 mark, was a great burglar deterrent! :lol: I left them over the steering wheel specially - much better than the Krooklok!

Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:28 pm
by walk aboot
Good job Derek T 8) - great photos and description, looks good :D .

Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:38 pm
by overtheseatoskye
I walked up Whernside in Summer 2007 and on the way up was easy... but the way down was steep and boy did I feel it the next morning!

Wonderful veiw though from the top on what was a beautiful day.

Re: Yorkshire Three Peaks

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:38 pm
by Graeme D
Just back from a week in the Dales and did the 3 Peaks from Ribblehead Viaduct on Wednesday - threw in a quick run up Simon Fell for good measure too en route to Pen-y-ghent. I can say without any doubt whatsoever that it was the toughest walk I have ever undertaken in my life! But damn, it was good! :lol: