About the challenge
The Yorkshire Three Peaks, in the Yorkshire Dales, represents a challenge for the keenest of walkers. To scale three mountains in one day is no mean feat and provides an exhilarating and demanding trek in some of the most spectacular countryside England has to offer. This region was shaped by glaciers many thousands of years ago, and there are plenty of geological landmarks – striking limestone outcrops and unusual rock formations – to pique our interest as we walk. We will also see the famous Ribblehead Viaduct enroute, part of the scenic Settle to Carlisle railway line. This is an extremely tough one-day event over hilly landscapes; at 24 miles it forms an enormous challenge for walkers.
Trek approx. 24 miles
We meet very early in the village of Horton in Ribblesdale for registration and a briefing. Fully prepared for the strenuous day ahead, we leave the village behind us, taking the Pennine Way towards our first peak – the distinctive stepped outcrop of Pen-y-Ghent. As we ascend, we enjoy good views back towards Horton and across to the other two peaks we have before us: Whernside and Ingleborough. We obey the Countryside Code, taking clear, well-worn paths, which climb quite steeply up to the summit; there are some steep stone steps too. We take time at Pen-y-Ghent summit (694m) to take in the views before taking a westerly path down off the mountain. We can see Ribblehead Viaduct in the valley below; built in the 1870s, it is 400m long and an impressive sight. We pass fairly close to our start point before continuing towards our second peak: Whernside (736m). Our path up the valley runs parallel with the Settle to Carlisle railway line; being fairly flat it’s a good chance to stretch our legs and knock off some of those remaining miles! At Ribblehead we can see the high, rounded peak of Whernside and we gradually begin our ascent, following a slabbed path all the way to the summit. The last section is particularly steep but our efforts are rewarded with the views – on a good day you can see across to Morecambe Bay on the west coast – and the knowledge that we have only one summit left to go! After a short break we come down off the mountain and head to the village of Chapel-le-Dale. We pass numerous limestone escarpments and outcrops, which the area is famed for, and this amazing scenery provides wonderful motivation to keep our legs moving! We soon reach the base of Ingleborough (723m), where a stepped path zig-zags fairly steadily to the summit of our final peak, where we can enjoy the views and celebrate our third and final climb! We descend over Simon Fell, our path winding through the rocky landscape back to the village, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and our accomplishments.
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes a packed lunch and full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew. A packed lunch is included for the day, plus water and snacks at the check points. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.
The tour cost does not include accommodation, personal travel insurance (optional), extra food, drinks, souvenirs or personal items, or entry to any optional tourist sites you may wish to visit.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at http://www.tcv.org.uk/volunteering or call 01302 388883
Preparing for the challenge
Walking Information and Training
The full 24-mile walk should take approximately 11-13 hours for fit and strong walkers; others should allow longer. It is not an event which should be considered without proper training. You will trek approximately 24 miles on this trip overall. Because of the varied terrain, it’s more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for, and the type of terrain you will be trekking over! We trek mainly on grassy and well-maintained gravel paths but there are some stony tracks and small tarmac roads; some sections may be muddy and wet. There are steep inclines both up and down. This is not a competitive event! You can go at your own pace, but if we are concerned about you being able to finish the distance safely, we will recommend you stop early. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
Crew and Trip Support
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Even in the summer months we can be exposed to rain, strong winds and storms. Be prepared for any weather! This is a long day-trek and you will need appropriate, good quality footwear and clothing to cope with the weather conditions and complete the challenge.
Clothing and Equipment
We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice. Each person should bring a small daypack to carry lunch, camera, waterproofs, sun cream, a warm fleece and any other items needed during the day.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. This is not a race and we design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace – within reason! Due to safety and logistical reasons there will be achievable cut-off times for each peak.
We insist that you have had a tetanus injection in the last 10 years.