Sunday, 19 May 2013

Ryedale Walking Group - Yorkshire Three Peaks Weekend

Our Yorkshire Three Peaks' Route - we started from Horton
24.2 miles walked with 5200 feet ascent
Over the long weekend of 17th - 20th May 2013 members of Ryedale Walking Group enjoyed a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, staying at the Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton. Saturday turned out to be wet so in consultation with my friend and joint leader Geoff Fielding we made a decision to postpone our walk over the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough until the Sunday. Fortunately all twelve members who had registered for the RWG Three Peaks Challenge were still able to take part, and this turned out to be the right decision as the conditions on Sunday were perfect for the walk. 

Under starters orders for the RWG Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

After early breakfast at 6.00am, served by the hotel night porter at The Rendezvous Hotel, I led the group away from the traditional start at the Pen-y-Ghent Café in Horton, at 07.55am. The age range of members taking part was from 17 to 68. One member felt unwell soon after the start and returned to Horton with a friend. Meanwhile the remaining ten members continued with the first group reaching the summit of Pen-y-Ghent exactly an hour after leaving the Café at 08.55am. After a 15 minute drink break, when Phil and Geoff made a few amateur radio contacts for SOTA, we were descending down the Pennine Way towards Tarn Bar for a comfort break (09.39am). 

We then used the new section of path over Whitber Hill and Sell Gill Hill. What an improvement over the old wet route across Todber Moss! The Dales National Park have done a brilliant job here for sure by creating a sustainable dry route.

Young RWG Member Will heads up the group on the new section over Whitber Hill
The same can't be said for the section of route when we left the Pennine Way to make for the flank of Dismal Hill, which it truly was, with the path being in a terrible slippery state due to the heavy rain of the previous day and the passage of boots. I was ahead with new member Chris and we reached the B6479 Ribblehead road at 11.12am.

Ribblehead Tea Van - 10 miles completed
With handheld radio on board I was able to inform my co-leader Geoff (who was bringing up the rear as back marker) that Chris and I would push on to the tea van at Ribblehead to order food and drinks for the group, which we duly did arriving there at 11.30am. 
Lunch break on Whernside - 14 miles completed
After a 20 minute snack break (less for the tailenders) we set off for Whernside, with all of us reaching the summit in just under two hours for our 15 minute lunch break. Geoff and I managed once again to snatch a few quick radio contacts for SOTA before departing. At this point the baton was passed to Geoff who took over leadership of the walk until we reached the top of Ingleborough.

Before Chapel-le-Dale we stopped at Philpin Farm refreshment caravan and toilets to enjoy another 15 minute rest stop, leaving at 2.57pm. The farm provides a great summer service here, an oasis just off the B6255 road between Hawes and Ingleton. The outdoor café also being used by passing motorists. 

Philpin Farm Cafe  - 16.5 miles walked (thanks to Steve Partridge for the photo under ccl)
With renewed vigour Geoff led us on to the summit of Ingleborough with me as back marker arriving at 4.20pm. After a few more ham radio contacts for SOTA we only lingered for 10 minutes before I took over leading the group off the summit across the limestone pavements of Simon Fell Breast and Sulber Nick, where we had our final brief 3 minute drink break at 5.30pm. 

The group crossing Sulber Nick (22 miles walked)
We rolled into the Pen-y-Ghent Café all together as a group at 6.20pm, having finished the whole 24.2 mile / 5200 feet ascent Three Peaks route in 10 hours 25 minutes.  After pints of tea in the café Chris kindly invited us to the Crown Inn for a drink before some of us headed back to Skipton for our dinner at The Rendezvous Hotel. The remaining members stayed for a meal at The Crown before heading back to Ryedale. 

Congratulations to the six RWG members qualifying for membership of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Club: Ellie, Chris, Sally, Annie, Kit and Rachel.

The happy RWG Yorkshire Three Peakers at the finish (24.2 miles)
Geoff, Martin, Will and Phil were already members, having done the walk before. 

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