Our Charity & Community Projects committee have this weekend successfully completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Leathes Prior’s three charities of the year; Finnbar’s Force, Norwich Door to Door and Norwich Cruse Bereavement Care.
The team set off on their coach journey to Yorkshire on Friday 14th September, following a day at the office. With a seven hour journey under their belt, the team arrived at their hostel for the weekend in Ingleton at 12.15am. With 23 keys to allocate, rooms to find and beds to be made, lights weren’t out until at least 1.00am.
With just three to four hours sleep, the team were up at 5.00am for toast and porridge the next day, before kitting themselves out with their walking gear and backpacks containing a minimum of two litres of water, sandwiches and apparently an abundance of jelly beans and other sugary snacks.
The weather, despite rather ominous looking forecasts, stayed mainly dry as the team set off (that is until the latter part of the challenge when the heavens opened on the group in the afternoon!).
The first peak, Ingleborough, was approximately seven miles of walking and the team found it to be the most difficult, with three of the team taking a tumble on the descent. Once this peak was complete, spirits were high and the team set off on their walk to local village Horton in Ribblesdale, which involved their one and only toilet stop during the 12 hour challenge.
The second peak, Pen-y-Ghent was a shorter, yet steeper, walk which involved lots of climbing – not something the team had initially envisaged would be such a big part of the challenge. They then had an eight mile trek to the Ribblehead Viaduct and finally got to enjoy a very brief moment of calm and relaxation as they enjoyed a stop for coffee and cake.
The team found the third peak, Whernside, to be relentless with a long and slow climb to the top in extremely thick fog. The group started to split and everyone seemed in agreement that this peak provided the challenge’s toughest mental test, as they struggled to see the person in front of them or how far they had still to go. When the team finally tackled the third peak, they described a bit of a surprise following the initial excitement when they were soon faced with a gruelling descent down vertical drops of muddy rocks. Once back on flat ground, the team set off on the final two mile walk to Chapel-le-Dale, where they finally got to enjoy a drink in the local pub to celebrate completing the challenge!
The challenge was to complete the three peaks in 12 hours, which they safely and successfully completed, and impressively four members of the team managed to complete the 25 miles in just eight hours and 51 minutes!
The team were treated to a large serving of chilli con carne when they finally returned to their hostel and gave in to the call of their beds as early as 9.00pm. After a much needed night’s sleep, the team were awoken by the hostel’s fire alarm at 7.50am, so headed straight down for a full english before their trip back to Norwich. With another long coach journey (7.5 hours), the team got back to the office in Tombland at 5.30pm yesterday (Sunday 16th September).
Despite the challenge being much more difficult than the team had quite anticipated, they all thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it, with expert tour guides and supportive colleagues to thank.
The team want also like to say a very big thank you to everyone that sponsored them to complete the challenge, donating funds that will do so much for Leathes Prior’s three local charities, particularly the very generous donations from Humberstones, Paint Out, Larking Gowen, Hugh J Boswell, Ben Burgess and Mc Tear, Williams & Wood.
If you would like to donate towards the team's fundraising efforts, there is still time! Every penny raised from the challenge goes towards our three local charities - see our fundraising page here for further details.