5 questions answered – Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

My article last week outlined what was going through the thoughts of our Partner/Director group ahead of our Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge – well here’s what actually happened (please do not read any further if you are “fainthearted” or are contemplating this challenge!)

1. What was the weather like ?

As we bask in 30 degrees sunshine over the weekend we have all come to realise that the land triangle between Pen-y-gent, Whernside & Ingleborough exists in its very own “micro-climate” !

In the space of 10+ hours or so we experienced blazing sunshine (all 10 minutes of it) , high winds, rain (both horizontal & vertical) and best of all thick fog at the top of two of the peaks – completely obscuring any views whatsoever.

So little use of sun cream required but plenty of wind-blown exposure on the few occasions when you let your rain hood slip down!

2. What about the footwear ?

I must confess the option of wellington boots were completely discounted before we started, as were flippers which would have helped at the top of Whernside. Furthermore, ice-skates for the descent of Whernside might have proved useful given the slippery limestone path (I use that term loosely) which we had to contend with.

We’ll know to consider more options next time…

3. Food intake on the day

This went very well – the ability for a group of 11 Accountants (& one Chartered Tax Advisor!) to over estimate by a multiple of 3 the number of tuna sandwiches required made me laugh! Crisps & energy bars were also generously ordered plus enough bottles of water to float the Titanic. The only problem was … no one wants a picnic in the rain & fog so I’m sure we did not consume enough calories on the walk. This might explain the tired team members heading up Ingleborough at the end – heads down, trudge, trudge, trudge…

Having said that special thanks to our support driver (Ian Pickup) for meeting us at all the right places (usually pubs, but no drinking allowed!) with his car boot full of tuna sandwiches – hope the smell does not linger for too long & the nausea now passed?

4. What if we get lost ?

Why oh why did I ever mention this – because as you well know, things “tend to happen” if you mention them, especially in a blog post on the G+E website.

Everything was going “swimmingly” (pun intended) until we reached the summit of the last peak, Ingleborough. It’s a bit of a climb & then you reach the plateau summit where you scramble around looking for the trig point & somewhere to shelter. All fine in clear weather, but when you can only see 12 inches in front of you due to the fog & driving rain it all gets a bit different.

We found the trig point but could we re-find the path back down the ridge to the footpath – it had disappeared. We were going round in ever decreasing circles closer to the edge of the 2,500c foot summit until someone said STOP. We did, retraced our way back to the trig point & “sheepishly” followed a couple of other bedraggled walkers off the summit & down to lower ground. What a relief – I had visions of spending a cold night trapped with my Managing Partner talking about the latest accounting standard…

5. What if I can’t carry on ?

With no serious injuries (thank goodness) on the day, we did unfortunately lose a few of our team with “trench foot” caused by the very wet conditions & one to a very rare condition called “sat-down&can’t-stand-up-itis” – but everyone played their part & pushed themselves harder than ever before; especially our intrepid only female team member (Sarah Ashton) who was so determined to complete all 3 Peaks & show the “boys” just what she was made of… And she did.

The end result:

11 completely shattered (but not broken) Partners & Directors, one support driver with an allergy to tuna & two very pleased charity Partners (York against Cancer & Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal) who are now better off to the “tuna” of over £5,000.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT – we could not have done it without you & it means a lot to us.