Datum Fab Four Three Peaks Triumph
Four intrepid Datum explorers have successfully tackled Yorkshire’s Three Peaks Challenge.
Gareth Bradshaw, Chris Fielding, Aidan Taylor and Dave Pilkington conquered the three peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in just under nine hours.
The 24-mile route includes a mouth-watering 5,200ft (1,585m) of ascent and competitors have a 12-hour deadline to finish the route.
The Three Peaks form part of the Pennine range and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Datum team opted for The Three Peaks challenge as part of their training for the Fellsman, a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland.
Gareth Bradshaw Three Peaks Diary
“Chris, Aidan, Dave and I set off on the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge and arrived at the Golden Lion Hotel in Horton in Ribblesdale nice and early about 07:00.
“The weather forecast was looking favourable for us and we made a start on the 24-mile round trip.
“We’d got about 300m into the walk when two old hand Geordie blokes made passing comment on Dave’s spanking new boots which he thought he gently break in over the day !!!!!
“This aside set off up the first climb of Pen-y-Ghent and were at the top of the 694m summit in an hour, not bad on the time check as we were on for a 9-hour trip at that rate.
“The next section is a down hill and flat mender which is usually full of charity walkers but bar the odd fell runner and stray sheep the open countryside was at its best (bar the 4 rambling mad men walking through it!!)
“We hit the food stop at the bottom of Ribblehead viaduct and took an early lunch sausage muffins, burgers all crammed in for vital calories!!!!
“Five minutes breather to take in the view of the magnificent 400m long 32m high viaduct (a credit to the Victorian engineers designed and who built it back in late 1870’s ) and we were off on the slow assent up Whernside which stands at 736 at the summit.
“A check of the watch showed we were just shy of 4 hours which means we were well on course. A quick dissent off the back down the endless stone slab steps allowing a last snap shot of the viaduct and its all flat again.
“We crack on and cross the main road holding back the urge to quit and just spend the day in the Old Hill Inn and head off on the last leg towards Ingleborough.
“The climb to the summit here is what some might call steep and challenging and after about 7 hours walking its a really heart sinker when you look up at it. Nonetheless we were soon up and at the top of our last summit 723m where we bump into our old Geordie pals again who are so pleased to see Dave has got a bit of dirt on his boots !!
“All down hill now in the sunshine and bar a few blisters for Aidan were all in good shape and hit the Golden Lion again at 8hrs and 49 minutes for some well needed refreshment, not a bad day out all in all in advance of our next challenge on 29th April which takes on 61 miles of Yorkshire’s finest green and pleasant countryside in the Fellsman Challenge.”