Our Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge is getting ever closer. There’s a mere nine weeks between our team and the big day!
Remember our first group training walk in the West Yorkshire Pennines? The fresh air certainly did us good! So we thought it was high time to undertake another. We’ve outdone ourselves with a steep, but picturesque 10 mile team hike from Bolton Abbey to Simon’s Seat in the Yorkshire Dales, as promised. In fact, the popular route proved slightly harder going on the incline than we’d imagined! But here’s how those energy-sapping 3 3/4 hours went…
On leaving Cavendish Pavilion, we crossed the wooden bridge over the River Wharfe, for the first of a few times that day, and headed north along a lane until we reached the gatehouse. That was our cue that the road would give way to a rocky trail, as it always does. But we had walking shoes on our feet, and the sun in the sky, so we enjoyed our pleasant amble through green pasture – before things got tricky in the valley later on.
Safely over a second footbridge, we made our way along a narrow path upstream, past a stunning waterfall. With such lovely weather, we couldn’t help but briefly stop to watch it cascade over rocks into the pool.
But the Valley of Desolation was waiting ahead – which is not hyperbole on our part! It’s named after the great storm of 1826. Over 8,000 new conifers were replanted in an attempt to rectify the damage. We picked our way through this relatively new forest plantation, and began climbing the path to the gritstone rock summit of Simon’s Step, 485m above sea level.
The leg punishing journey to the top was certainly worth the view of Wharfedale that we enjoyed when we got there. This rocky outcrop dwarfed each and every one of us. It’s more of a residential home, than a seat! We gathered around the plinth on top and captured the moment in a team victory photograph – which you can see below.
It was all downhill from here. Team Ultimate zig-zagged our way down to the walled track to Dalehead Farm, and onto the junction at Howgill. With the River Wharfe flowing to our right, we trekked down Dales Way and crossed the massive stone Barden Bridge, to reach the final section of the Strid. This left us with only the short walk back to where it all began, Cavendish Pavilion. No problem.
While this distance is still less than half of the gruelling 25 mile challenge that we’re ultimately embarking on, we’re nonetheless as proud as punch to have completed another milestone! Together, we traversed woodland, moorland, a steep hill climb to a rocky summit, and riverside path – which made us a more experienced and determined bunch.
Our next group training hike will see us dig even deeper to tackle our longest route yet, 15 miles on the 21st May. Perhaps you can dig a little deeper yourself? We’re raising funds for Manorlands Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society and MIND – causes dear to our hearts. Why not donate on our Just Giving page to help us reach our £2,000 target?
Many of you have already very kindly sponsored and supported our Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge in a way that’s taken our breath away – much like the walks themselves!
But a huge thank you, from everyone here at Ultimate, for the immense generosity of our clients and suppliers, family and friends. Wish us luck!
Posted May 10, 2016