On the 27th of July, Laura and a group of her friends from the Littleborough Brass Band set out on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
Words by Laura Whittaker.
“I think when agreeing to take on this challenge, a lot of us had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for! The idea came about with the aim to raise money for the brilliant organisation Macmillan Cancer Nurses, but to also give us something to work towards and to complete together as a team.
Our challenge began very early in the morning, setting off just after 6am to conquer the first peak - Pen-Y-Ghent. This was definitely the steepest peak of the three, even finding myself at some points clambering up the hill on hands and knees! We all reached the top at different times, but all stopped to get our only photo together. After descending down Pen-Y-Ghent, there was quite a walk to the beginning of the next peak Whernside, where we stopped for a quick bite to eat and a moment to get some feeling back in our exhausted feet. At this point I was already so tired, but with only about a third of the walk completed, I knew we had to power on. Heading up the next peak was probably the most difficult. With the sun getting hotter, we were getting more and more exhausted and had to pull together.
Luckily, we had a couple of very energetic dogs named Lloyd and Baxter which I think pulled me up the majority of Whernside! The view from the second peak was incredible, and it was amazing to look back at Pen-Y-Ghent and see the distance we’d travelled. After another quick stop, we continued down Whernside where the groups split up again. My group now consisted of me and three other girls, who by this point were all very determined to finish the challange! One more very quick stop at the bottom of the last peak – Ingleborough, and we began on the last hike.
As we were so tired, this peak seemed the most difficult of the three. My feet were very badly blistered and I think most of us had lost all feeling in our legs, however we took our time and with a lot of encouragement from each other, we made it all the way to the top of the last peak. The feeling of relief and achievement was amazing, and the view was breathtaking – which was only slightly ruined by a thunderstorm that was looming! We knew we had to get going, as the sun was setting and the storm was catching up on us. Unfortunately, about half way from the last peak to the finishing point the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched!
After trekking for a few more miles soaked through, we finally made it to the finishing point where we were greated by the nicest and warmest welcome from our friends. It was so lovely to see the whole group back together again, enjoying a well deserved drink in the pub and telling each other of stories from their day. I’m so proud of everyone who completed the 3 peaks challange - it was such an achievement for us all. It was definitely the most tiring and exhausting thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it was such a pleasure and honor to raise money for such a worthy cause. We’re currently collecting the sponsorship money so I’ll update you soon with the total amount we raised! Here are some snapshots from the day...