Five friends and I attempted the twenty five miles and three mountains that is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge yesterday. Here’s a report on how everybody fared.
An hour and a half into the walk Andrew arrived at the top of the first peak - half an hour after the rest of the party. His pallid complexion was an alarming combination of light and dark grey. With Mark’s assistance he struggled through the descent and walked to the nearest train station, where he caught the Andrew Special back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. From this we learn that the
“I didn’t think it would be this hard.” - At the top of the first peak, one that he has climbed before.
Bees performed wholly as predicted. Despite being the oldest member of the party by some considerable margin, he yomped up and down the peaks like a mountain goat. He spent more time waiting for the rest of us to join him at summits than he did ascending them. When we eventually joined him at the top of the third peak, he had acquired a stick and seemed to have grown a short beard. He accomplished the
“I think I should put on my under-hat.” - No, I didn’t know what an under-hat was either. I wish I still didn’t.
Brad arrived at the first summit noting that he’d found the climb quite hard work. He then proceeded to vomit his breakfast over a surprisingly large area, and announced that with its ingredients of coffee, toast and cereal, it tasted like a breakfast smoothie. After this shaky start he recovered well and, despite the pain and exhaustion that most of us shared, completed the
“I’m going to cover the area where the sun doesn’t shine.” – On entering the bathroom with a jar of Vaseline. I don’t believe that he was referring to
Hayley was the only lady in the party. She hadn’t done much serious walking or gone up too many mountains before and was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to complete the course. After about two hours she noted that the freezing conditions, combined with the strong winds and stinging raindrops had caused her to suffer quite a serious injury to her hair. She ascended all of the peaks more quickly than some of her more experienced companions (me), and made less fuss about the effort required than some of her more experienced companions (me again). On the descent from the final peak she calmly announced that she’d never walked a distance of twenty five miles before. When not leaping buildings in a single bound she can be found in her local branch of Superdrug, emptying the shelves of Frizz-Ease.
“It was really great to spend a day with you guys – NEVER AGAIN!” – On learning that men smell, swear a lot, and do some very bizarre things in the name of fun.
That would be me. There's no photo, I'm only allowed five. This jaunt was my idea, I apologise to all concerned. It was the hardest physical thing that I have ever done. I climbed slowly (as usual) and descended reasonably quickly, though gingerly (strained left hamstring). I completed the course despite my shameful sense of direction, fear of wild animals – there were uncaged sheep and cows - and my vertigo (which obliged me to crawl up most of the third peak). Alone on the long descent from the third peak, secure in the knowledge that I would soon complete the course, I thought of the difficulty of the thing that we had just accomplished and actually shed tears.
“For my next birthday we’re doing something in the pub.”
Mark, the baby of the group, is Andrew’s younger brother. Once the Andrew Special had borne away its ailing cargo and he was freed from the obligation of filial loyalty he set about the rest of the walk with some trepidation. Though an experienced walker and walker up stuff he had never attempted a challenge as arduous as this. He struggled on the climb up the second peak and, when we stopped for tea before the ascent of the third peak, attempted to die. Fortunately he recovered and valiantly went on to complete the challenge in much pain and with a left hamstring injury to match my own.
“I only came because I thought that if Andrew could do it, it must be easy.” – on realising that the challenge ahead was more daunting that he had originally suspected.