Yorkshire 3 Peaks – Greenfield – Thistly Meadow – MIND – 22nd Jun 2019

It all started back in 2018, Amanda got in touch looking for accommodation and Y3P guides.

Friday evening briefing at the Marton Arms. Thanks to Heather and Co for allowing us to use the spare rooms at the back.
Challenges with the evening traffic, Nando’s and various other factors, meant for a less than ideal start to the adventures, however, undeterred , briefing was brief and we all headed back to our rooms. All of the challengers were staying at the Ingleton YHA, top accommodation and friendly staff. See you all in the morning.

The Journey begins with us meeting at the layby near the Old Hill Inn.
A chilly but clear morning saw everyone arrive prompt and a little sleep deprived. 6:45 for a 7:00 depart up Ingleborough

Spirits are high, the forecast is great, low winds, sunny with some cloud and about 10degrees on the peaks and 20degrees in the valleys. Blessed are we today.

Sam is in the Support Vehicle, bags are all loaded on board. Ady and I set off with the challengers from Greenfield and Thistly Meadow all in aid of MIND.
Well done Laura, her damaged ankle was too much and sensibly decided, before the scramble up Ingleborough, that the challenge was not for her today. Ady walked her back to the Hill Inn and after a bit of too’ing and fro’ing, due to poor mobile coverage, Laura joined Sam in the support vehicle. Ady joined us back on the approach to Ingleborough.

Ingleborough tick. Great start and we are mostly down in Horton for 3hrs and 3hrs 15mins. A determined Jill and Sue are with Ady a few minutes later, enjoying the descent.
Alex is looking happy sorting out some feet issues, whilst tucking into some grub in the paradise of the support van. Shame the old café is still shut, it was a great place to stop for a brew.

The journey up Pen y Ghent is well underway, a little bit of a shock as the going is steep, but the summit is getting close quickly.
There are other walkers around, but the sun was out and the majestic Pen Y Ghent looked moody in the background. Well Done Amanda, ignoring those blisters.

The scramble up Pen Y Ghent was next. No problems, the group set off after a quick chat and the 3 ladies even had time for some cheering as they scrambled up.
Thanks to the ” We’re here at the rear” crew too.
Conditions were great for floating around in the sky, barely any wind and rising thermals.

Sue had decided that enough was enough at the Horton stop and joined Sam in the Support Van.
It is a big decision to carry on or not on a challenge like the Y3P’s. Thinking about your fellow challengers, the dangers associated with moving slow in the mountains are not always clear. Whereas the dangers with moving fast might be more obvious.  The summit fast approached. Getting to the top in around 5 hours.
Ady and I knew what was next. the Slog across to Ribblehead.

The slog to Ribblehead. The temperature rising, the route was mostly down hill, but into a wind less, humid 20+ degrees zone of energy sapping “slog”.
Several blister stops, refuels and rests down and we get into Ribblehead, 8hrs ticks the clock.
I say to the guys, a quick stop, even I know when i’m up against an imoveable object. We take a much needed 20mins stop, refuel. My Son James, 6yr old, is here, to encourage them on.
Feet are chilled in the river, some change to comfier 2nd shoes, spirits are middling at best.

The update from Ady, who is now walking with Jill some way back is that they are 45 mins behind us. Come on Jill, i’m thinking she may quit at Ribblehead. Will She?

The other Laura, challenged by the ascent of Ingleborough, who laughed at the scramble up Pen y ghent, was struggling a bit. I suggested we hang on for Ady and Jill and join them having had a rest. After a few tears and support from her fellow challengers, she waited.

We set off for Whernside, the longest ascent by far. Gradual, gradual incline. I notice as we go by the first small beck, that Laura has re-joined us. The power of friends and colleagues. Much like a chant from the ring back in the 80’s and 90’s. “BRUNO”.  Well done Laura. That’s some determination and equally some motivation talk from Bruno.  Slow and steady to Whernside, we have 3hrs 35mins to go until the clock ticks 12hrs. Time for digging deep.

We’ve come a long way as we wind the way up Whernside. Lookgin back down the valleys, it seems a very very long way away does Pen Y Ghent. It’s now 10hrs on the clock. The team left Pen Y Ghent at around 5hrs, that’s nearly 5 hrs to traverse the backbone of the Y3P. I’ll be fair and honest, i had my doubts that 12hrs was achieveable, when i looked at the tiredness at Ribblehead.
Here we were, a top Whernside, a rest needed and we set off with 1 hr 45mins remaining.

A sneaky ice-cream van appeared at the foot of Whernside, a mirage, nope! – Seemed rude not to have an ice cream.
The group headed to the end, as this was the final mile, a couple of tricky turns and i’d be on one of the CRO’s witty but purposeful reports about lost walkers. (Not on my shift)
Laura and Bruno! then came round the corner, where’s Alex and Adam, surely the Ironman hasn’t run out of energy. No, not at all the case, he was solid.
Alex, (POP!), a bit blister had gone and she bravely walked down with Adams support, I joined them for the final mile back.
Everyones energy levels were low, but morale was high. Determination was at max level.

They’d done it, everyone made it down!!!
All well under the 12hours, some just over 11 hrs.

What about Jill. (and Ady)
We sat in the garden of the Old Hill Inn. We estimated that Jill would be at least 45mins behind.

Time went by, the only news we had was that they had left Ribblehead and started the third peak. Time went slowly, we finished our drinks, the table at the Wheatsheaf was delayed from 8pm to 8.30pm. The others returned back to the YHA or the Wheatsheaf.
8pm ticked by, I am starting to get a tad nervous, it’s been well over 1hr 15mins since.
Lorraine watched nervously.
Sam and James were waiting too.
over an hour and 1/4 had pasted. Had they turned back to Ribblehead, was something wrong.
A little walk up the lane to gain a better vantage point and everything turned to smiles.
Walking down the final mile was Jill (& Ady)
Fantastic achievement by all. WELL DONE EVERYONE. Food, drink and sleep.