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by Brian Bailes

June 12, 2017

Trench foot? Worse than that!!!

It didn’t really fall well for me, I have had a few races lately, and it was the day after Blaydon races, but when I was telling Stephanie that the younguns were doing the THREE PEAKS OF YORKSHIRE, she just said. “Great, why don’t we do it as well?” And sometimes you just know there is no point in arguing.

It must be 14 years since I last had this adventure, been a lot happened since then, and age is one of those things. I was concerned cos we had done no training for this, and at best you could never say it is a walk in the park, this was not going to be the best scenario, the day after a race, and the weather forecast wasn’t good. At the club on the Tuesday before Amy Drummond heard Mia Openshaw was going and decided she wanted to have a go as well, Ha ha ….. That meant Lee had to come aswell, which to be fair he was ok with, actually almost keen. 😮

So 4:00 am and I am up and heading to Stephanie’s, to collect her, then round for Lee to pick him and Amy up then off down the A1 to start the walk at 6:45. In the meantime Darren Purvis, was heading down also in his car. Darren used this as a training session for him, he is going to do the “other three peaks” Scafell, Ben Nevis and Snowdon. But he is cycling between them!!!

Anyway the weather was ok driving down, but the rains came, and got heavier until we arrived. We were late arriving, and those who were already there were waiting getting wet, so we apologised and set them on their way. Thought we would try to catch them on the hills. I was surprised how many people were on the hills now compared to the last time I was here, this didn’t help, we were held up in places where we had to scramble up the rocky bits. In fact, I had to push a woman up the first hill cos she couldn’t get up the steep bit cos her legs were too short. But we managed to reach the top of Penyg’hent and Lee took a selfie of the four of us at the trig point. Taken with Lumia Selfie

We climbed the wall to go down the other side, and you could not see even the direction to head off, so we just followed those ahead of us. About an hour down the other side and we caught the rest of the team, much to Amy’s delight, cos she wanted to walk with Mia, not her dad!

The burger van was at 10 miles so we stopped and Stephanie changed her socks had a cuppa, and then we all set off, at this point we swapped Amy, for Sophie, and set off on number two, Whernside. The rain still hasn’t let up at this point. We walked along the bottom of the viaduct, that was used in Harry Potter, then passed an aqueduct and on up to the top. It was a long slog this one, and probably two thirds was in the clouds. It was a long way down , a couple of stumbles, and Sophie playing best man falls near the bottom, when she slipped and slid 10 metres on the one grassy bit we saw all day!

selfie 2

The third hill, Inglebrough, again, 2/3 of it was in the clouds. Strange one this one, it was just a constant stream of people in a line, trudging up the hill to the start. We walked past a hole in the ground that must have been at least 100 feet deep. And 100 metres across. I can only presume it was either a disused quarry, or collapsed cave, but in the summer quite something to see. In this weather though, you just trudged past and gave it a fleeting glance. By now it was becoming less and less fun, and was just about getting to the end. I was feeling quite good though, relatively, because I had used the cafe at the bottom of Whernside to get dry and put dry socks on; that made a massive difference. Lee had started to troop forward with Amy, Mia, and Sophie, and in the car coming back he had said he was almost trotting trying to keep up with them. I stuck with Stephanie and we started to almost climb the last hill. This was nigh on a vertical ascent, up what appeared to be man made “natural” steps, all different sizes. This wasn’t a good time for Stephanie to tell me she didn’t ‘do’ heights. We swapped places and I followed her up, and promised to catch her if she fell, hoping she wouldn’t, cos I don’t break news well, and wouldn’t have known what to say to Gary if I went home without her!

Taken with Lumia Selfie

So we scrambled to the top, and that was awful as well, we were at the top, and still could hardly see the trig point. Walking up at the end it was like the back of the moon,so we quickly touched the trig, and turned back. Incidentally as we were reaching the top Lee and the girls had already been there and we’re heading back past us. So tempting to just turn round and follow them, but that would have been cheating!!! The long walk back was hard, again guessing if you were going downwards you were going the right way, but, if you took the wrong path down you could end up back at the viaduct, 6miles from home instead of coming down to the village and cars. A bit pressure there when there are a couple hundred weary people following you. There was all sorts to deal with on the way down, you couldn’t put a foot down flat, and had a couple of streams to jump, or just plodge through. By now Stephanie was saying her trench foot had spread to her full body and bless her she was shattered, but she stuck at it, and didn’t ask for a piggy back, until the last mile or so. (Sorry about my reply, but I was tired as well by then).

We made it to the end, we were challenged and accepted it, and beat it. Back to the cafe where we started, exchange a few tales, then headed off home. Strangely, on the way home there was a bit sunshine broke through the clouds, but not everyone saw it,…

snoozy

bless her she had worked so hard I didn’t say anything about her having her feet up on my seats. 😉

For anyone inspired by the efforts of the youngsters, their Justgiving page is still open and all donations are welcome!

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