The last weekend of July saw some of the team members undertake the final training walk, a 13 mile yomp around the Yorkshire Dales, taking in the scenic village of Kettlewell and the heights of Buckden Pike and Great Wherniside.
Setting off in glorious sunshine early on, we soon got into our stride for the tough start to the day with the climb out of Kettlewell. After an hour or so, the terrain finally levelled off and we could take in the scenery from the hillside.
Having done just over two miles, we knew that there was still a long way to go so we navigated our way up to Buckden Pike an hour and a half or so later, having taken in the memorial to a Polish air crew who all perished in 1942, save for one fortunate survivor.
Lunch was had at the top of Buckden Pike and then the hike got interesting. We somehow managed to lose the gps route and ended up traversing over some difficult terrain trying to get back on the right path. The highlight of the day came when a shriek from behind revealed a distressed Dawn up to her knees in a bog. Matt tried in vain to drag her out and ended up in it himself so it was Neil who came to the rescue....whilst trying hard not to wet himself laughing, to drag Dawn out whilst Matt freed himself. It revealed how dangerous this walking malarky can be if you attempt it yourself.
Onwards to Great Wherniside at a good old pace with another snack at the foot of it before attempting what looked like a near vertical ascent. We made it to the top without incident, other than Neil struggling badly with blisters. The descent down was steep and didn't take too long, with a tricky scramble down a small rock/scree face and past a local scout hut.
Upon making it to the bottom, we returned to Kettlewell and swiftly made it to the nearest beer garden and discussed if we were prepared for the 3 Peaks two weeks later. The consensus was that we had done all we could and we were physically up to the challenge...only the lack of sleep was the main worry for some.
And so, we now are looking forward to the challenge itself. At the time of writing, we are less than a week away from commencing and more determined than ever that we're going to smash it. 24 hours and 1 minute isn't an option!