Yorkshire Three Peaks – The Preparation!
by Emily Freeman and Rachel Taunton // June 2018
The Dog School Leeds team are taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Sunday 17th June to raise money for the dogs who find themselves in the care of Dogs Trust. Well... I believe Tracey suggested the idea and before we knew it we were all signed up, too late to back out now. The walk is around 24 miles long and treks over the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m), which we plan to attempt in that order. A large number of people aim to complete the walk within 12 hours, however, I think we’ll all just be very thankful to make it to the end without any blisters.. (we can but hope right!?)
(From left to right, Coach Sophie, Senior Coach Niki, Senior Coach Suzie and Coach Tracey.)
Despite being frequent walkers in our spare time, (our Senior Coach Niki even has her own blog, ‘Walking with Milo’), we decided to have a couple of practice outings to make sure we were up to the challenge we’d set ourselves. Deciding it was best not to scare ourselves too much with a long distance walk we thought we’d give the highest peak, Whernside, a try to see how we faired. We attempted it on a beautiful, sunny day in early May and were rewarded with incredible views from the summit.
With the success of our 9 mile Whernside trip fueling us on, we decided our next tester should be to attempt not one, but two peaks in one go. We agreed on nearby Wild Boar Fell (708m) followed by Swarth Fell (681m), in hopes that this would be a good warm up to the Yorkshire Peaks. The sun shone for us on this walk too but luckily, we were blessed with a much-needed breeze as we started to climb the steeper part of ‘The Nab’, heading towards the summit point of Wild Boar Fell.
(Approaching ‘The Nab’ of Wild Boar Fell)
After a short stop at the summit to rest our legs and fill up on food, we headed off past the cairns and began making our way towards Swarth Fell. There seems little agreement on when, why, or by which people such cairns were built. (One common suggestion is that they were built by shepherds as markers for paths; but groups close together like these on The Nab surely need a better explanation.) On a clear day like we had they can be seen from the start of the route and the road below, making the walking route an easy one to follow.
(Cairns on The Nab, Wild Boar Fell)
After a one-mile hike along the plateau summit of Swarth fell, we began our steep descent down the hillside and through the open fell back to our starting point, being careful with our footing over the uneven ground. (I don’t think a twisted ankle could get us out of the challenge at this point... might be worth a try though?!)
(Swarth Fell, left, and Wild Boar Fell, right.)
With these practice runs under our belt, we’re now heading towards the three peaks challenge with a renewed confidence that we’ll to be able to make it no matter how long it takes, and even if we need to crawl towards the finish line, that’s what we’ll do! Keep your eyes on our upcoming blog to hopefully hear all about our success. The thought of helping the dogs within Dogs Trust care find their new homes will surely motivate us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
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