One evening as I trawled through my timeline on Facebook, a picture of happy South Loiners grinning at the bottom of Snowdon caught my attention. Underneath was a caption which described a new adventure, this time Ed Carlisle was offering to take us out of Beeston and Hunslet and up to the Three Peaks. My first reaction was that this was a great thing for my locality, as a non-car driver/owner I don’t get out of Beeston as much as I would like. My next reaction was ‘Challenge accepted!’
I had heard a lot about the mythical beasts of the Yorkshire Dales, their names were legendry: Pen-y-Ghent, Wormside, Ingleborough such was their reputation amongst the folk I had spoken to I wasn’t sure if they were mountains, rockfaces or cliffs. The first fact I discovered was that Wormside wasn’t even a name at all.
We began our walk at the correctly named Whernside. This is I believe unconventional, but designed by organisers so 1, 2, or 3 peaks could be walked with options to finish in a convenient spot if the going got too tough. This makes such an event inclusive and a family affair. But today my children were at home with dad, and mum had her sports leggings on and was raring to go. Ed set the pace, and we were off. For me the first mile felt very much like a race mile, all jittery and excited, a little breathless and wondering when my body would catch up with the pace it needed to be at.
At the top of a foggy Whernside (728 metres) it became clear that only 3 of us mad folk were hell bent on completing the 25 mile circuit which includes all three Yorkshire Peaks. So with warmed limbs, peanut butter and honey sandwiches consumed my two fellow walk mates filtered out from the pack. The mythical beasts, which before then I had only heard about were hills, howbeit very steep, rocky and demanding hills.
Ingleborough (723 metres) was next and for me the most enjoyable of the three. I would love to wax lyrical about the good old Yorkshire Dales scenery, but if I am perfectly honest I could describe the look of my trainers more accurately. It seemed as if taking a glance away from your toes resulted in a gait which was rather more ministry of silly walks than accomplished fell walker. Ascending Ingleborough is like a very long leg workout, in fact I couldn’t shake the sound of a gym instructor out of my head, ‘Keep going! Don’t stop! 5 More! Feel the burn!’ And feel the burn you do, at least for a short time just before the summit, but nothing a peanut butter and honey sandwich won’t cure.
My fellow walkers turned out to be very good companions, at Pen-y-Ghent (691 metres) they taught me about ‘trig points’. These are concrete pillars placed mainly at the summits of the hills, used for ordnance survey maps. These are often touched or photographed as a memento to the arduous ascent. We approached Pen-y-Ghent as a backwards salute short way up, long way down. The down turned into a crunchy gravel path, with 3 trekkers and 2 walkers’ poles, the footfalls quickly turned into the sound of an annoying child chomping Walkers in your ear. It was at this point I began to find my companions hilarious, I will never know if they were really witty or whether delirium had set it.
This post was written by Debs Davies using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.