Our Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge group training is done and dusted.
You won’t see Kim, Rebekah, Mick, Mike, Rory, Warren, Holly and Mark wandering the wilderness together again, until Saturday 25th June. The big day is now weeks away and, as you know, we have plenty of work to be getting on with back at the Ultimate office.
For the final time then, the circular route around Malham saw us winding our way through quintessentially Yorkshire countryside, past natural landmarks that draw visitors like a magnet in the summer months. On the incredibly wet afternoon that we attempted it, we were the only souls for miles.
Our sodden clothes soon clung to us, as puddles pooled in our boots. The 12 mile route, extended by a detour, exposed us to the elements high on limestone cliffs and out on the huge swathes of grassland. Not that we’re complaining.
As with our previous walks, the car park was both the start and finish line of the trek. After tightening our shoe laces for a short jaunt through Malham town centre, we crossed the stone footbridge which sent us on our merry way to Janet’s Foss and beyond. With a gravel path underfoot and Malham Beck to our right, it started off relatively smoothly.
Five kissing gates stood between us and the waterfall. They broke the journey up and helped us to track our steady progress. Passing through the National Trust owned wooden ravine, further down the track, was a treat indeed, as it came complete with a stunning carpet of wild garlic and bluebells.
However, there was no time to stop and smell the flowers. Legend has it that Janet, Queen of the Local Fairies, once lived in the cave behind the waterfall that we’d made our first goal. So together, we pushed on through the rain until we got there. As it happened, the showers had made Janet’s Foss all the more impressive, frothing and bubbling with more water than usual.
Taking the winding path to the top left, above the waterfall, the team made our way through yet another kissing gate and the next leg of the journey, to Gordale Scar, began in earnest.
As we rounded the corner, the sheer, ancient rock face was instantly recognisable, jutting out from the ground, hundreds of metres into the sky. Truly awe inspiring. From a distance it’s tricky to see a path to the top. But on closer inspection, we picked out our route and started the near vertical scramble skyward.
To our collective relief, it petered out before long, and a flight of manmade steps appeared just after a second waterfall. From here onward, the rocky terrain flattened out, became grassier, and mercifully, easier to walk on! Two miles later, we arrived at Malham Tarn, which marked the mid-point in our journey.
When looping back on ourselves, to get back to Malham Cove, we were soon stopped in our tracks by the ankle-twisting limestone pavement made famous by Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. As if its deep cracks and crevices weren’t tricky enough to negotiate, they were made slippy by the rain, which was still coming down.
From up here, we saw our path back to civilisation winding far down below us. Down several flights of manmade steps we went, drinking in one long last look at the mighty Malham Cove from the bottom, before taking the forked path back to Malham itself.
Making it back in one piece was a bitter sweet moment. Our group training walks, around Brontë Country, Bolton Abbey, and now the Yorkshire Dales, were well and truly over. But we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and we can’t wait to complete the mission in order to give upwards of £1,400 to charities, including Manorlands Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society and MIND.
With our final group training walk through the Yorkshire Dales under our belts, we couldn’t be more ready to tackle what lies ahead of us.
There’s still time to sponsor our Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge over on our Just Giving page, we’re so close to reaching our target of £2,000. Keep your fingers crossed for us on Saturday 25th June. A little rain certainly won’t keep us from finishing what we’ve started!
Posted June 7, 2016