Friday, 1 July 2011

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Yorkshire Three Peaks
Pen-y-ghent (694m) - Whernside (736m) - Ingleborough (724m)

Walked: 26th June 2011
Distance: 40 km (25 miles)
Time taken: 12 hours
Start & Finish: Horton in Ribblesdale (7am start)
Group: 9 parents raising money for our School PTA (over £1,000)
Weather: Warm, sunny spells, light winds, good visibility, occassional shower late afternoon.
Height gain: 1,600 metres!
Map: OL2

Route: Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Brackenbottom, Pen-y-ghent, Black Dubb Moss, Birkwith, God's Bridge, Ribblehead, Force Gill Aqueduct, Whernside, Bruntscar, Hill Inn, Ingelborough, Sulber Nick and back to Horton.

A well-trodden path, paved with flagstones for much of the way, although with long sections across boggy ground. Navigation straightforward in good visibility, although care must be taken on the summits and across the boggy ground of Black Dubb Moss as well as Sulber towards the end of the walk. The climbs are not that difficult - easy scrambling up onto Pen-y-ghent, long plod up onto Whernside, very steep ascent along a pitched-stone path onto Ingleborough, whilst the descent from Whernside is very steep. The challenge is the long distances between the mountains - 10 miles from Pen-y-ghent to Whernside across bog as well as a river crossing, and 6 miles from the summit of Ingleborough back to Horton, which seems to go on forever across slippery and muddy limestone.

Good stamina and endurance are essential, as well as plenty of food and water. I drank 5 litres over the course of the day, and snacked on high energy food throughout. There are two possible 'escape routes' by bailing out at Ribblehead (train back to Horton) or at the Hill Inn (walk along the road back to Ribblehead Station).

In summary - a test of stamina and endurance, where personal barriers have to be overcome. The climb up Ingleborough is particularly gruelling, although I thought the long walk along Sulber Nick to be the most difficult part of the day as it went on and on and on across muddy limestone. Great sense of achievement though as we finally made it back to Horton. Pick your times carefully as the walk is very busy at weekends throughout summer.

Photos of the walk
These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011