On the 1st October 2011 the Year of Madness finally began, a month later than planned. But what a first challenge it was!!! The Gods were kind as one of the hotest October days on record awaited us, with bneatiful blue skies which allowed us to ease our suffering later in the day with some amazing views.
The Year of Madness - 3 Peaks division were:
Eddie Whittle, John McDonough, Tim Ingram, Rachel Tuson, Dave Eccles, Dan Hockley, Trevor Hockley, Julia Hartley, Carol Morris, Neil Taylor, Ben Wright and Conor Gaskill.
After a 6.50am start at the cafe in Horton In Ribblesdale, the brand new, hot off the press year of madness t-shirts were distributed causing some rather jealous glances from fellow hikers. We set off up Pen Y Ghent reaching the top in just over an hour. One down......
The trip across to the Ribblehead Viaduct was eventful to say the least, with detours the norm due to the boggy state of the fields. Thankfully no one ended up sinking in the mud with rather mucky boots and legs the only casualty of the trek across the marshland!!!
Reaching Ribblehead in good time we stopped for lunch and a much needed refill of water as the heat started to take hold.
We quickly got moving again making our way up Whernside, the highest of the 3 peaks. After 11 miles and a peak and a half, some were feeling the pain. Undetered the group plodded on before being greated to some fantastic views of the southern lakes at the top.
It was then the shortish route down to Inglebourgh. Hitting the practically vertical wall was the last thing we needed after 18 or so miles. It is not that high but at times felt like Everest......then we were at the top, the last peak had been conquered. The views of Pen Y Ghent and Whernside showed the distance we had travelled and to the otherside you could see right across to Morcambe Bay and the Irish sea.
All that was left was to make it back to the starting point, the Horton cafe within 12 hours!!!
The first group back made it round in a rather impressive 8 hours 42 with the final group coming in well under the 12 hour cut off in 10 hours 30 minutes.
Thank you to everyone for the support with the 3 peaks challenge!!!