Baker Labels Staff Complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
Following the adventure of Bakers’ National 3 Peaks Challenge in 2022 we decided to take on what many would consider to be a slightly easier challenge this year.
What is the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge?
The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 25-mile round trip route in the Pennine Range within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. During the route you take on the peaks of Ingleborough (723m), Pen-Y-Ghent (694m) and Whernside (736m). We did them in this order in an anti-clockwise direction but you can start with any of the three peaks and go in either direction.
We based ourselves in Ingleton where we had found enough accommodation for the group of 27 participants and 4 man support crew. Our closest start point from here was in Chapel-le-Dale. So at 6am on Saturday 30th September, with head torches lit against the foggy morning gloom, we commenced our climb of Ingleborough. By 7.30am, as the sun rose, most of has had reached the first summit and were making our way down to the fist check point in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Summit #1 Ingleborough
Sunrise descent from Ingleborough
Check point 1 Horton-in-Ribblesdale
By 9am most of the team had reached the Golden Lion car park in Horton where the support crew were waiting with freshly cooked sausage rolls, hot chocolate and lots of water to refill the empty canteens. There were a couple of splinter groups forming as we had different levels of experience and fitness, so the quicker group had already set off for the second peak before some had arrived at the check point. Peak 1, Ingleborough, had had a very steep climb to the top and we had been reassured (although we’re not sure by whom) that Peak 2, Pen-y-Ghent was easier. It wasn’t.
Summit #2 Pen-Y-Ghent
Support Crew were kept busy
Pen-y-Ghent to Whernside
With another sheer rock face to scramble up before the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent, there were many of us that were relieved of the heavy cloud cover hiding the steep drop down the mountainside. On the flip side it was still a little disappointing not to have clear views across the Yorkshire Dales.
By 10.30am and 4 and a half hours gone of the 12 hour limit we were on the descent from the Pen-Y-Ghent summit and starting the 13km hike to the next check point. Our group continued to splinter as time and distance went by but everyone remained with at least one “buddy.” By this point we also had a few casualties – a twisted ankle and a hurty knee amongst them. This kept our support crew busy as they ferried the injured back to the safety of a local pub and tried to keep time with the different paces of the splintering groups.
Half way point on way to check point 2
Clare waits at Check Point 2
Peak 3 Whernside
The weather had been fair so far but as we left the second check point at Ribblehead Viaduct, the weather closed in and the rain started. It would have been boring if we hadn’t had a little bit of rain! The climb of Whernside was a long, steady incline over fairly even paths. As it was our third and final peak, we were climbing on tired legs. With the rain getting heavier as we climbed higher, we were all very wet and beginning to get very cold. It took grit and determination to keep moving and reach the final summit. By 2.45pm we had made it and didn’t linger longer than to take a quick photo for evidence before beginning the final descent.
Summit #3 Whernside
Summit #3 Whernside
Back to the pub!
Having achieved all 3 peaks, the challenge was still not over and it was still another few miles to complete the circuit and get back to where we started from. Going down a mountain can be just as hard as going up. It can definitely feel more painful and a lot more dangerous, particularly over the large, uneven rocky steps on the Whernside descent. With what seemed like a never ending final path we were finally back at The Old Hill Inn in Chapel-le-Dale where our support crew welcomed us with pints in front of an open fire!
Finishing times ranged between under 8 hours and just under 12 hours, with most of us finishing under 10 hours. We all felt a huge sense of achievement and relief that it was over!
Relief at the summit of Whernside
Harvey and Matt finished in 7hrs 48min!
You’ve read the story, now watch the movie!
Wellbeing at Work
This challenge is just one of the many social activities we have held this year at Bakers and is part of our wellbeing at work program. If you’d like to know more about joining us to work at Bakers take a look at our Careers page.