Posted by: sweetpea | April 14, 2008

Two peaks in one day

The ‘Three Peak’ challenge of Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis is popular with many dedicated walkers, but for some is just a little too much!  A slightly less gruelling (but still pretty hard going) walk is the alternative ‘Yorkshire Three peak’ challenge, which includes Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen y Ghent, covering a total of 24 miles in less than 12 hours!  And for those who think 24 miles is just a little bit too far, there is the ‘Yorkshire Two peak’ challenge …Whernside and Ingleborough, with a mileage of 13 miles.

Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

OK, the ‘Two Peak’ challenge isn’t exactly an officially recognised one, but for us it was to be our challenge yesterday.  To be honest, originally the aim was to do the ‘Three Peak’ challenge until we realised how far we’d have to walk….24 miles is Sooo far!  And by us, I mean me and four of my friends, plus another two more adventurous friends who decided to attempt the ‘Three peaks’. 

You might be wondering what made us decide to do this walk…well I shall enlighten you.  Last Autumn, a group of us decided that it would be fun to do the ‘Coast 2 coast’ walk, and after a planning meeting or two we decided that actually doing just half of it would be enough in one go.  So In May a group of around 12 of us are walking from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Kirby Stephen in 6 days, covering a total of 93 miles!  We figured some training was probably required, especially after we’d worked out how long each leg was going to be…2 days of 21 miles being the longest.  So since Christmas we have been doing some training walks, one of which was a 20 mile walk around Todmorden, and yesterdays walk was another such walk, intended to give us some practice on climbing mountains (there aren’t that many in Yorkshire!).

Ribblehead viaduct and Whernside

We parked up at Horton in Ribbleside and caught the train to Ribblehead, and headed off to climb Whernside first.  Luckily we seemed to be blessed with luck when it comes to weather, the forcast had been for showers, but on the entire walk we only experienced a very brief hail shower on the way down from Whernside. Consequently, the views from the top were amazing, and there was still some fresh snow on the ground, which is really refreshing if you make sure you’re picking up clean snow.

Looking back towards Ingleborough from Whernside

Looking forward to Ingleborough from summit of Whernside

Next peak Ingleborough looks daunting

Looking over at Ingleborough from Whernside, it looks a much more daunting climb than Whernside.  Whernside is a pretty gradual climb if you head up from the e viaduct, whereas if you go up the way we went down (i.e. the path heading towards Ingleborough), it is a bit more hardgoing.  Ingleborough just looks impossible… very steep sides whichever way you look at it!  The climb was gradual most of the way, but then you come to this wall of rock and grass which you have to climb.  Thankfully someone has put in some steps which makes it slightly easier but still a very hard slog.  There was a fell runner ahead of us and even he was walking up, and I think that is saying something given that they seem to be able to run up anything in my experience.

Limestone pavements on Ingleborough

Reaching the top of Ingleborough was fantastic. I’m used to walking in Snowdonia where you can walk to the top of 3-4 mountains in one day if you whish, but they are joined by ridges so it isn’t really that much of a feet.  Yesterday we actually climbed 2 mountains properly in that we went up and down one before starting on the second.  From the top of Ingleborough we could see Morecambe bay bathed in sunlight and the mountains of the lakes… truly worth that hard slog up.  The journey back down was slightl less enjoyable for me because my knee started to get painful again, but no pain, no gain as they say. (Have been to physio today to get it checked and it isn’t anything major…phew!  Just need to do some strengthening exercises).

Early evening sunshine is fantastic

By the time we got back down it was almost 7pm, so we’d been walking for 9 hours! Didn’t get home till 9.30pm, then it was a quick bath and to bed as it had been a very long day considering the 7.50am pick-up!

Spring lambs 


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