Whenever I think of ‘The Three Peaks’ I think of Ben Nevis, Snowdonia and Scafell Pike. These are the highest mountains of Scotland, Wales and England respectively. While I’ve climbed Nevis and Scafell (the latter about 3 times) I haven’t yet climbed Snowdonia but it’s on the list for this year. In all it will have taken me around 10 years for me to get the 3 done. However some people like to do it in 24 hours – driving like madmen between each mountain. That’s never interested me, it just seems like a waste of time turning up at each mountain, climbing it then going elsewhere. I’d rather spend a few days in each area climbing several mountains and appreciating their respective surroundings.
However, in Yorkshire there is another, slightly less pointless 3 peaks. They are Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. They’re all around 700m high and are situation within a few miles of each other. I’ve climbed the first two and even mountain biked up the second one (to be fair I pushed it up a lot of it and flew like a maniac on the way down) but have never been up Whernside. Until yesterday that is.
A friend of mine and my good lady decided to take on the mighty task of scaling this awesome peak! Okay, this isn’t the Alps or the Himalaya – this is Yorkshire. It was a fairly steady incline, not too taxing and not at all technical but it did give us a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside and the spectre of the other 2 of the 3 peaks looming in the distance. My friend told me he was going to do all 3 back-to-back which set me thinking…
The official Three Peaks Walk is 24.5 miles in length and takes in 1600m of climbing, should be completed in less than 12 hours and is one of these things you really should do if you live in the area and call yourself a hiker. Frankly, when I was 23 I’d have seriously considered running it but since my friend suggested doing it in 4 weeks I don’t really have time to get that fit (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, nothing to do with being over 30 at all). So it’s time to polish my boots, buy some new hiking socks and get walking.
For the last few years I’ve wanted to do a solo walk across one of the wilderness areas of Scotland (Letterewe and Fisherfield Forest) carrying everything I need on my back. I guess ticking off the 3 peaks would be a good training exercise so I’m going to give it a shot. Wish me luck!