Although it has been on my bucket list for a while now, I was still yet to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks. After arranging a visit to see my friend in Leeds, a short hike seemed to somehow spiral into this challenge. Still to this moment i’m not quite sure how it happened.
Before I knew it, accommodation had been booked and I had signed my left big toe toenail away for life.
To save on costs we decided to book The Station Inn Bunk House in Ribbleshead to stay at on the Friday night to ensure an early start on the Saturday. After a pre-dinner of 5 chicken selects, and an actual dinner of sausage and mash, we settled into our bunk room. We got pretty lucky as we were the only people staying, so we got the whole room to ourselves!
The bunk house in the early morning sunrise!
Our very basic, but thankfully empty bunk room! The wide choice of bed options excited me a lot. I opted for a top bunk whilst my friend went for a bottom bunk.
The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunrise and realised that lots of crazy people had decided to camp outside.
Once appropriately caffeinated and filled with a fruity flapjack breakfast we set off for the first hill, Whernside!
It was a nice gentle climb with plenty of snow and ice for entertainment. Once the sun was up it got very warm and we gradually removed our many layers.
It was a very quiet walk with the only company coming from some sheep and their baby lambs, which is fine with me because i’d rather see them over humans anyway.
Once completed, the next peak was Ingleborough, the most difficult and steepest of all the climbs.
I managed to work up quite a sweat when lunging up which made me feel very unfit when a couple of fell runners speeded fast, sounding less out of breath than myself.
Once at the top we polished off our lunch at around 10:30am, which was a massive mistake, but well-needed for both morale and energy.
The walk between Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent was pretty enjoyable with lots of nice views, differing terrains and plenty of company throughout.
By the time we finally arrived at Pen-y-Ghent, in our minds we could begin to see the finishing line. With tired feet and legs we did the steep clamber to the top and treated ourselves to a ten minute rest break to reinvigorate ourselves with more flapjack and a handful of jelly babies each.
After that we made the slow descent. By this time my left big toe was absolutely killing me and was constantly throbbing with every step. I switched out my hiking shoes for my running trainers which felt glorious and cheered me up a little.
Although we had finished all three peaks I was disappointed to find out we still had 6 miles to go. Now at first this didn’t sound like too far – I run that distance on a regular basis – but when you’re knackered from the day, sweating like a pig and running low on both flapjack and water it becomes the longest walk of your life.
It went on
My mind was just whirring with ‘why did I agree to do this?!’. We barely saw anyone for the last part, it was very solitary and although we could see our finishing point in the distance it just didn’t appear to get any closer.
I was also suffering from sausage fingers which pretty much describes what happened. My fingers swelled up like sausages.
The only thing which was keeping me positive was the lovely weather we were having.
After a long few hours we could eventually see we were near the end; back at the bunk house which we started from. I was so desperate to finish that I jogged the last 400m just so I could get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
The view at the end as the sun was starting to set was beautiful, but I don’t think I appreciated it at the time as all I wanted to do was down several pints of water.
11 hours and 26 miles of walking complete!
Following the walk, we hobbled to the car, went to a nearby village and ate as many carbs as we could at a nearby pub.
Our evening plan was originally to go out for cocktails, which quickly de-escalated to watching a movie, which even further de-escalated to showering and just nodding off in bed. We were losing an hour of sleep after all weren’t we?!
The next day, with suffering bodies, we dragged ourselves out of bed and decided to visit the nearby Meanwood Valley Urban Farm.
It was the perfect time to go as it was a beautiful day and it really felt like spring had sprung!
We saw all the cute animals like lambs
And their less-so-cute moms
And lots of baby chicks!
There was an Alpaca that didn’t give a shit about anything. Here he is not giving a shit:
And two donkeys who were probably starving because they were getting very aggressive about the food.
Enough with the animals otherwise i’ll bang on about them forever. After viewing the pigs I was too tempted so I went and had a bacon sandwich from the cafe.
A few bites in.
To finish off the day we visited a place I used to climb at regularly called The Depot. We did a couple of hours of bouldering and then I unwillingly made my journey home.
A week on and my feet are still suffering. My left big toe toenail is clinging on for it’s life and i’ve had to walk with a limb all week which everyone has unfortunately noticed. I’m glad I did the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge but I think this will be the first, and last time. My toes won’t let me attempt it again.
The song to finish off the post is a song I didn’t even like beforehand and hate even more now. It just got stuck on repeat in my head and tormented me for the last 6 miles after one of us commented on ‘the weather is lovely and it’s just the right temperature’.