Early (very early) on a Sunday morning this September we boarded a coach to the Yorkshire dales for our Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.
Three Peaks, 1,600 meters of ascent and 25 miles.
Myself (Kate Alewood) along with my mother-in-law Catherine, Darren McQuade, Angie Simpson, Shamaine Brant, and Anna & Carl Parker began our journey at 4.30 am to arrive and begin the challenge at 6.30am
We arrived in Ribblehead and met our guide Richard from Team Walking and got started straight away.
We began our ascent of Whernside, the highest of the three peaks. It was cold, damp and foggy and we could not see the top, until we got there! We made it to the first peak by 8.30 am. Quick snack and off we set.
We had a good few miles between Whernside and Ingleborough to get through before we could begin our second ascent. By now the fog and the clouds cleared and the sun was shining.
Inglebrough was steep and brutal looking, so we renamed it the beast as we tackled it. It fooled us a few times with its false summits. Three times I thought we were about to reach the top, before the next climb appeared. We reached the second peak by midday!
We stopped for a well-earned rest and some Lunch.
Again, we had a good few miles to get through between the peaks before we could begin our final climb. We arrived in Horton-in-Ribblesdale at 2pm. Quick rest, snack and water refill. By now we were slapping on the sun cream. Gorgeous weather, but tough to walk in.
Pen-y-Ghent, the final peak. Ridiculously steep. Another brute of a climb. It began steady away and as we got closer, I questioned “where is the path? How do we get up there?”
It was walking poles away and dragging yourself up hands and knee style scramble before we finally reached our final peak just after 4pm.
I had pre warned the others not to feel too elated when we reached the top of Pen-y-ghent. We still had 8 miles left to complete our loop. 8 more long hot miles before we reached our finish line, The Station inn, 8 more long hot miles before we could reward ourselves with some hot food and a cold drink.
We powered on torturing ourselves with conversation about good take-aways, nice restaurants and favourite cuisines and what we were going to order when we arrived at the pub.
Finally, 12 hours after we began our walk, we got to the finish line. We got the drinks in and toasted to a fantastic achievement. It was a tough and challenging day, but we all kept each other going and we were all proud of one another.
I can honestly say The Station inn had the best chips and prosecco I had ever tasted!!!
Just enough time for a couple of glasses before we boarded the coach home. I finally arrived home at 10pm, 18hours after I left the house. 25 miles, 60,000 steps, 5000 calories, 530 floors.
In Total between us we have managed to raise £2650 for Autism Parents together. We are all looking forward to the next challenge, we just need to decide where we will be going next time. As long as we can finish with Chips and prosecco again.
Kate AlewoodTrustee of Autism Parents Together – Tees Valley