On Saturday the 6th of April, 12 members of the club left Garmill Lane to attempt the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, accompanied by a further club member in training and a certain sleeping beauty. We were raising funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research and Nostell Cricket Club in a 50/50 split.
Buttery, Dalby, Craig ‘Grylls’ Simmons and Paul Lomax were the designated drivers as we left Garmill Lane in a 5am convoy. Lee Gray would also drive to walk the first peak and provide a support car if required.
We arrived in Horton-in-Ribblesdale just as the sun was rising and it was dawning on a few just what we had let ourselves in for. A beautiful back drop was surrounded by quite a few sky scraping hills!
Photos and pleasantries were complete in the car park and off we went towards Pen-Y-Ghent. The early pace setters up the front, a few of us in the middle and a few more at the tailend. Once the first couple of minor slopes through fields were complete the group was beginning to splinter. Simmo was back to front a few times making an early assessment as to where his survival skills were needed.
I was once informed on a cricket field by a Jonny Vegas lookalike that Dan Hurst was a great cricketer but played far too much for himself (Something with which I disagree). However it was apparent that Hursty would be completing the YTP with this attitude and he was off into the rising sun.
The rest of us recomposed ourselves at the top of Pen-Y-Ghent and looked around at our early achievements. Dalby as he does so often on a Saturday (Love ya!) had single handily carried one of us to the summit, Matty Longdon looking slightly worse for wear under Dalby’s wing.
Conversations were had as to if we wait for the rest composing of Thickett, Simmo, and Adam Weston or carry on and a unanimous decision to plough on was made. Buttery and Slack were off with new boys Carter, Lomax and Thompson. Bond, Dalby and Longdon were taking a pit stop for Bond and Longdon to take some much need oxygen on-board.
The long walk from Pen-Y-Ghent to the Ribblesdale viaduct was nice with most of the conversation around if the back group was still en-route? Thinking if they had decided it was too much then Simmo would surely be just about catching up by now.
Lee and Hollie spotted us and we were able to give Lee some of the immense amount of belongings we had been encouraged to carry. Lee had an update as to the whereabouts of the others, Lee thought we were about 20 mins behind team Buttery and 25 mins in front of the continuing group.
This is when the talking point for the day, season and year, became apparent. Lee had the Skippers bag in his boot, we all felt the weight and thought Lisa must have been in the bottom! Thickett had pack for every eventuality including getting stranded for about a week and dealing with all weather extremes - on a perfect day!
The groups went of past the lovely viaduct and on towards Whernside……… then breaking news “I’m *$£*?*” “can’t do it, knee gone” as so often happens on a Saturday first to depart was………. Your all thinking Bondy, well you’re all wrong, Linc was out having made it to the viaduct. Bondy had set out with one intention to get further than Linc, he could leave at any point now. Though his hero and inspiration was making sure Bondy completed.
The walk up Whernside was in my opinion the worst, the climb which is not of the gradient of the other two peaks but just goes on and on making this so hard! Groups reached the top some 7 hours after leaving Horton-In-Ribblesdale.
I mentioned the walk up Whernside being hard, the descent was no better. Rocks laid but big knee jarring steps between them caused the knees to shake and zapping those lost bits of energy.
Energy levels were soon revitalised with the sight and taste of an ice cream. Whilst most of us had ice creams, I am told that there was no time for Hursty to stop as he ran past looking to post a good time!
Walking towards Ingleborough, how do we get up that?? Looks steep!!! Oh it was, the most extreme gradient of the day towards the peak of Ingleborough. Bond and Longdon scrambled with around 20 little pauses for breath as Dalby looked on and encouraged.
Towards the top of Ingleborough we saw the group in front as they were coming back from the summit and this spurred us on. Many the group were looking flustered, Butts who can become easily injured was looking pretty fresh, I suppose it’s not hard carrying 7 stone! Chats were not had for long as the 12 hour challenge was on!!
The walk back towards Horton-In-Ribblesdale was one of euphoria, absolutely amazed at what we had completed. The walk was had at a good lick as we all sought times under 12 hours!
Arriving at back in the car park – The slighter frames Buttery and Carter had completed in 11 hrs 36mins, Chris Slack 11hrs 47mins. Bond, Dalby and Longdon 11hrs 49mins with Lomax and Thompson in 11hrs 51mins. Tommo had suffered with his bowels and pits stops had caused them to become separated from the others. Hursty and Linc were waiting in the car park – Hursty had done the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 9hrs 32 mins running much of the distance between the peaks - top top effort.
Pints were had and the day discussed along with concerns of the group still not back. Following the pints we went to the station to wait on the final group. Hurst and Buttery donned the head torches and started to climb the last few fields on the way down in hunt of the last 3; Maggie Weston had been in touch very concerned for Adam as his tea had been ready hours!! Lee Grey was talking of mountain rescue.
At 22.03 the group arrived back from their walk!! Kris Thickett had completed after leaving the kitchen sink with Lee Grey. Thickett had been unwell but for the many of you who know him, he was never going to let anyone down (Unlike Linc!) and he had got round. This can be seen as extremely brave and courageous and dam right stupid, I will let readers draw their own decisions on this! Sorry Dalby but for a very small period of time the Skipper is my hero (Adam I hope your happy to share!)
The bodies should recover for the start of the season, Lincoln being a doubt. Adam could struggle as I think he is grounded with no X-Box and he is never allowed out with Linc again!
All in all a superb day which I would not change for the world, this will see us give well into 4 figures to Yorkshire Cancer Research and assist us with the new kitchen at Garmill Lane!
Thank you to our sponsors and the lads who made the day such an experience (I almost wrote enjoyable then!)