What You Need And Why You Should Take On The Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge
As you may or may already know, the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk is a hill-walking route that includes traversing the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
Although a tourist attraction and a great walking route in its own right, it has been taken on as a challenge by many people, with the aim of completing all 24 miles in 12 hours.
Covering that distance in that amount of time is not impossible, but as it also includes around 5,200ft of ascent, it is also something you should not taken on lightly. Before I go into why you should do the Yorkshire Three Peak challenge and some tips and information you will find handy, it is important that I talk to you first about the importance of choosing the right kit and investing in some proper walking gear, even if it feels like you are taking too much. Now, there are hundreds of websites that all give slightly different information, but the list below is what we firmly believe you should have as a minimum.
Is it any surprise that on a walking expedition like the Yorkshire 3 Peak, one of the most important pieces of kit is walking boots. If you are buying a new pair of shoes for the trip, you should take the time to wear them in appropriately as this will help to prevent you from getting sore feet and blisters. Although you may want to wear shoes, boots will give you a greater amount of support around your ankles, which is essential.
Regardless of what time of the year you are taking on the challenge, you need to get yourself not just one coat or jacket, but at least 2 and a top. The reason for this is that the weather can change at any point while you’re at the summit, so even in the heat of the summer you should wear a base layer t-shirt that is lightweight, breathable and has high wicking properties. We recommend you wear a fleece or thermal to keep you warm. You also need to invest in a good quality, lightweight, waterproof jacket. A lightweight, waterproof jacket is ideal because it won't weigh you down and will keep you dry – when the weather improves and it is too hot to wear, it will fit inside your bag easily. It also acts as another layer to keep you warm when you are on the coldest parts of your trip – the summits.
Hat and Gloves
It is important that you realise even if the day starts off with clear blue skies and a warm sun beaming down, the weather on the peaks can be very unpredictable. This is why you should still pack a hat (beanie style preferably) and a pair of waterproof gloves. You will find these invaluable when you are at the highest ascension points and need to keep your extremities warm.
A lightweight and very soft pair of shell, zip off pants are a great idea for wearing on your bottom half for the trip, they will give you freedom of movement and can be turned into shorts if the weather becomes too warm. It is also a good idea – as we’re in the United Kingdom – that you bring along some waterproof pants to protect you from the worst of the British weather.
Don't Forget – Change of Clothes
It is wise to bring along a change of clothes, not only because you may need to add some layers between peaks or change clothes after completing the challenge.
Food is, of course, very important to help you to keep your energy up. Packing a lunch containing high carb food such as rice or pasta can help you to boost your endurance and help you recover. When I did the challenge a few years ago, I took along 4 rounds of sandwiches, some sausage rolls, scotch eggs and a can of diet coke. If you forget some bits, don't worry as there is a shop by a farm about halfway through the route.
My camel back was one of the best things I got for my rucksack.
It enabled me to keep moving without missing out on drink, as time was of the essence.
You could also do what I did and add some orange squash to stop it being boring.
Why You Should Do The Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge
I can't urge you to try the Yorkshire 3 Peak challenge any more than by saying it is something you will enjoy and get a lot of confidence from. It’s a nice sense of achievement, especially if you cover the ground within the 12 hour deadline.
There are always people taking on the challenge throughout the year and you are welcome to take it on in a private group or you can look online to book a place with an organised trip. Not only does the scenery make it worthwhile, but there are plenty of nice pubs along the way too – such as the Old Hill Inn at Chapel Le Dale and the Marton Arms at Ingleton.
Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Starting Points
If you do want to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge, be aware that you have a choice of three starting points – it’s also possible to complete the course both clockwise and anti-clockwise. The starting points postcodes are:
- LA6 3AR – Chapel Le Dale
- There is free parking here and it is usually very quiet.
- LA6 3AS – Ribblehead
- This area also has free parking.
- BD24 0HE – Horton-in-Ribblesdale
- In antithesis to the others, this area can get very busy across the weekend and does cost £4 to park your car (for the whole day).
I honestly can say it is one of the best things that I have ever done, even if I couldn't move my legs properly into my car after completing it! I am very glad that I took part in it.