May 31st, 2018
It was a hard slog for all but we eventually got there.
After a long ten and a half hours over 24.5 miles, there was a sense of relief but more than anything, pride for what we had achieved.
Supported and organised by Glenbrook and Moorfield, 21 keen property folk took up the challenge to conquer the three Yorkshire peaks challenge on Thursday 26 April, to help raise money for the “Steve Burne Rooms” at Ronald McDonald House.
Steve Burne, a friend and colleague to many in the property industry, sadly diagnosed with cancer in May 2017. The cancer has since spread and in October Steve was sadly given the diagnosis that it had become terminal. Steve’s aim was to raise £250,000 for Ronald McDonald House, Manchester, so families have the opportunity to keep together, close to their children in hospital. This is where we decided to do our little bit to contribute.
With the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough weighing heavily in our minds, we made our way up to the Yorkshire Dales in convoy, feeling both nervous but excited at what was to come at 5:30am the next morning. As dawn broke, we huddled back into the cars to meet at the starting point in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The first peak of Pen-y-ghent loomed over us but we were all feeling pumped and ready to go at this stage, fuelled by several energy bars and bananas. The first 30 minutes felt like hours, as everyone found their feet and took their time to set their own pace. Reaching the first peak was both a relief and an achievement in itself. With a celebratory shot of whiskey at the top, we were all feeling confident for the next peak – Whernside, sitting at 2,415 ft.
The walk to the next peak felt like it was never going to end. The route was flat and long, and I could tell from everyone’s faces, that aches were starting to set in. We had the weather on our side though – dry and not too warm. With a quick pit stop for a breather and a bacon sandwich provided by our generous meeting point friends, we trudged on to the top of peak two.
For me, peak two was perhaps the ‘easiest’ one of the three. The worst part of this walk was the route along the ridge of the peak, where we were all battered by the icy cold wind as we made our way to the summit. The walk back down was easier on the legs but not so easy on the knees. Needless to say, it was time for a re-charge and we were all ready for a bit of lunch. We gobbled down our packed lunches, as we all contemplated the last peak – Ingleborough. By this point, we had staggered into smaller groups, with everyone walking at their own pace.
The first half of the walk seemed fairly straightforward, but we as we kept walking, we soon realised that the final ascent was going to be a really steep gradient, as we came over the rigdge and saw the path zigzagg up the hill, mainly up man-made steps. On our hands and feet, we climbed and climbed and climbed, purposely not looking up to see how far we had to go to reach the top. This was perhaps the hardest part for me. Once at the top, we then had a further rocky path to walk, which snaked around the mountain. Finally, we could see Triangulation Point – the summit. We had made it! We sat watching everyone make it to the top in their own time, cheering them on. Another shot of whiskey gave us the boost we needed to make our way back down the steep decent, retracing our steps. We were all very eager to get back to base and discuss our war wounds in great detail, counting how many blisters we each had. The prospect of a hot shower and some food now occupied our thoughts.
Later on in the evening, the atmosphere was one of pure relief and accomplishment. What an incredible effort made by everyone, for such an amazing cause.
At the beginning of February, Glenbrook set an ambitious target of raising £40,000 for this challenge. As at 9 May, we have exceeded that amount by a massive £10,000. We cannot thank everyone who has taken the time to donate and for their kind generosity. Although rewarding, it has to be said, I won’t be taking on all three Yorkshire peaks again any time soon.
I do wonder where our next challenge will take us!