August Update

Category: Uncategorized

You will remember from last month I was planning to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which involves walking the three highest peaks in Yorkshire in twelve hours to raise money for Henshaws a local disability charity. So how did it go?

Bad news first. I’m not as fit as I think I am.

As a result of Covid and a pretty horrible weather forecast there were only seven of us setting off from Horton in Ribblesdale. Going up Pen-y-Ghent was ok, although the other members of the group shot off considerably faster than I would have liked. Coming down was difficult as the path was very slippery in the drizzly and windy conditions, and I’ve never been known for my agility.

By the time I reached Ribblehead, around nine miles, I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete the course. Fortunately, one other walker wasn’t feeling too good either, so we discussed our options:

  • walk back down the road to our starting point
  • get the train back, which was appealing, but not quite in the spirit of the day
  • miss out Whernside, which is a not particularly steep climb, but is long, and head to Ingleborough

We decided on the latter as being the least painful to our egos, if not necessarily to our legs. So very slowly I completed the steep scramble to the summit, took a couple of photos in the ongoing drizzle, and then headed on the long, slow walk back down, by which time the cloud had finally lifted and it was possible to see where I had been

Now for the good news.

Thanks to your generous support we have raised £1,060 for Henshaws, which is more than I had been aiming for. I was speaking with the head of their fundraising team who told me they were around £175,000 down on income since March, and he sees this getting worse before matters might improve next year. For a small charity this is a massive blow, and will require a severe reduction in the services they provide.

So, while I am frustrated not to have completed the challenge I am not entirely surprised as I knew I hadn’t done enough hard climbing. Do I regret doing it? Not at all. Raising desperately needed funds was always the key reason for signing up, and that became more and more obvious over the last few months.

What did I learn from the experience?

It is a serious challenge and trying it without proper training is not a great idea. So, my thinking is that this attempt wasn’t a failure, but simply preparation for a serious attempt next year. And as a wise philosopher noted ‘two out of three ain’t bad’.

– Ian Kemp

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