It’s nearly time…

….for my first adventure of the year. In fact my first of any kind for nearly two years now. And just thinking about that makes me quite sad. It seems that the last trekking trip I had was in August 2012, to the Berchestgadener Alps between Austria and Germany, and my last night away in the hills at the Ingolstaedterhaus brings back a host of great memories http:// which I would love to relive. But anyway – enough of the digressing!

This weekend I have a fairly impromptu trip up to the Yorkshire Dales, as mentioned in my last post, to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks  I’ll do around 26 miles, and three peaks that I have never even seen before. None of them have any technical difficulty, and the walk should take somewhere around 10 hours I hope. I haven’t though, as far as I can actually recall, done 26 miles in a day before, and so I am effectively in unchartered territory here. And as a couple of other factors slightly conspire against me, then perhaps it is not going to be quite the walk in the park that I though it might be.

The first of those is the recent weather. I have been in touch with a couple of people who have done the Y3P recently, who tell me that the route is really really wet and muddy. It has been a very wet start to the year in the North West of England, and the weather is still around 9 degrees at best. I’m told I’ll need gaiters. This will certainly take its toll on a walk of such length if it is indeed that heavy.

The second is the route that is being taken. I am told that the generally accepted way to do the Y3P is to begin with Pen-y-Ghent, and the do Whernside, then Ingleborough. Apparently this gives the best mix of undulations, and leaves a reasonably pleasant last leg of the journey when the legs are at their most tired. The profile is shown below:

The accepted route....

The accepted route….

The route is described thus:

Anticlockwise –> Pen-y-ghent – Whernside – Ingleborough

That’s the most popular way of them all. If you are a first timer, I’d advise you to do it this way because the last descent from Ingleborough is not too steep. Remember your last peak will be the hardest no matter what so this way might put less strain on your body for the final part.

But, unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, I’m not doing it that way. I am doing it this way:

The 'wrong way round', apparently....

The ‘wrong way round’, apparently….

Now to me the above doesn’t look terribly different to the one I posted above. But all I can go on is from the number of blogs that I have read on the subject. The most descriptive goes thus (from :

“…Anticlockwise –> Ingleborough – Pen-y-ghent – Whernside

That’s the way I did it and it’s probably the silliest of them all. Why? Because the first two peaks are relatively close to each other with very steep ascents and they will kill your stamina and just to finish you off you then have the long walk to Whernside. By the time you arrive at Ribblehead you are completely exhausted not to mention that the final part of your journey will be covered with steps on your way down from Whernside. It’s a killer!…”

I hope most of all that the weather just stays fine, and then at least the whole thing will hopefully be manageable. There is nothing worse than a day in the hills when you have lashing rain and zero visibility, particularly when you just really want to a.) get away from it all, and b.) get a lot of miles into your legs.

If I’m still in one piece at the end of it all when I wake up on Sunday morning, and if the weather is half decent, then I may even wander into the Lake District. That may well be a bridge too far, but we will see. I shall keep you posted – wish me luck!

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