Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide
This handy guide is essentially a folded double sided annotated map of the 3 Peaks Challenge Route and for many people it may double as a souvenir, though at this price you could buy two copies and keep the souvenir in pristine condition. Please don't throw the other copy away though to add to the discarded used toilet paper which desecrates much of the 3 Peaks route.
The handy annotated notes point out the steep sections and places where navigation skills are needed to keep "on route" if you do the walk as an individual on a quiet weekday rather than as a "mass challenge event".
The early morning train service is mentioned but an improvement would be to mention that there are also evening trains and to state that these trains run through from / to Leeds via Keighley, Skipton and Settle which are all valid overnight accommodation venues when the scarce accommodation in Horton and Ribblehead is fully booked.
New guide to the Peaks trek
More and more people are tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks - often in a fundraising challenge - and the improving weather is increasing the numbers. A new guide aims to help those takig on the challenge. Leslie Tate reports.
AS we approach the longest day of the year - Thursday, June 21 - we also approach the busiest time for those taking part in the gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, writes Lesley Tate.
All manner of charities and organisations call on their supporters to tackle the three peaks - Penyghent, Ingleborough and Whernside - to raise money for their worthwhile causes.
Indeed a team from Craven Leisure in Skipton is due to tackle the peaks next weekend (June 9) to raise money for Manorlands Hospice, and the pages of the Craven Herald have been full in the last few weeks of groups carrying out the challenge.
Those successfully completing the challenge - a distance of 24 miles with a total ascent of 1.6km - in under 12 hours are considered to have done well. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people who underestimate the peaks, including those who have to be rescued by volunteers from the Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO).
Now, I have climbed all three peaks, Whernside, the tallest at 736 metres; Ingleborough, 724 metres, and Penyghent, 694 metres. But never one after the other. I have seen plenty of walkers clearly on a mission to do all three in daylight, but I would rather take my time, and enjoy the experience - but then I do have the advantage of living nearby to go when I want, and to put it off if the weather is inclement, which it can often be.
However, I am very tempted to join the ranks of walkers and fundraisers with the publication of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide, by Saltaire-based Tony and Chris Grogan.
First of all, the map is a useful, foldable A3 size., large enough to read and small enough to pop into a roomy pocket, or small backpack. Opened out, it covers the full, 24 mile circuit, with detailed, large scale mapping and based on the latest OS maps - but with all the superfluous detail taken out.
There are clear helpful directions on the map itself. The guide includes a route profile, along with mileage and suggested timings at each key point.
It is, say Chris and Tony, designed to help walkers get the most from their adventure and to find their way easily and safely around the route, it is also aimed at addressing some of the issues associated with the thousands who visit the area every year.
Chris and Tony are highly aware of the impact of the estimated more than 70,000 people who visit the peaks, and how at peak times, it is not unusual to see a thousand setting off at the start of the day - usually from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
“It is also designed to help address a number of concerns that the rising popularity of the challenge route has raised, with fell rescue service, local residents and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority,” they say.
They point out that last year, Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) were called out to 91 incidents, many of which were to walkers of the peaks, and including many who were ill prepared.
On one occasion, in November last year, when the nights were drawing in, volunteers went to the aid of a man and a woman, in their early 20s at the summit of Ingleborough. They were inadequately shod and clothed, had no spare kit or food and only had mobile phones, for light and navigation.
Chris and Tony, mindful of the amount of traffic pouring into the area - in 2012, Horton Parish Council engaged Colin Speakman to look at the traffic issues in the village. He recommended people being encouraged to travel to the area by train.
“A major opportunity,” said Colin “is to work with Northern Trains ... to encourage many more three peaks walkers to travel to the area by train, including using the railway to park and ride, thereby reducing their carbon footprint and also pressure on car parking space in the village.”
The guide therefore encourages walkers to avoid early morning starts in Horton by car, and instead to use the early morning daily train service to start and finish at Ribblehead - next to Whernside.
“There is no official route or starting point, though the most popular route is the one shown in the guide. Many choose to start in Horton, but Ribblehead, with its early morning train service, makes a better starting point. Whernside is climbed first, then Ingleborough, leading down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Penyghent follows, then there is a seven mile trek over Horton Moor to finish back at Ribblehead.”
A proportion of proceeds of the guide will be donated to the Three Peaks Project, to help maintain the route and to protect the surrounding landscape from erosion.
The guide also includes shorter walks - for those not wanting to do all three at the same time. The three routes take a more leisurely route to each summit and with a start point at railway stations at Horton and at Ribblehead.
The Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide is published by Skyware Ltd, priced £1.99. Available at: skyware.co.uk
Horton-in-Ribblesdale residents' Three Peaks 'hell' prompts Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith to seek answers
PROBLEMS of noise and disturbance caused to Horton-in-Ribblesdale residents by organised walking groups taking the Three Peaks Challenge have stirred Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith into action.
Mr Smith has written to the chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, David Butterworth, and says he is making representations on behalf of a number constituents following concerns.
Last month the Craven Herald highlighted problems villagers were faced with on a regular basis by large groups of people taking part in the 24-mile walk, usually linked to a charity event.
Residents said they were disturbed by noise at all times of the day and night through revellers on their way back from the hills, through cars collecting walkers from outside the station, and through loudhailers being used on the playing fields car park.
Bryan and Hilary Bowman, who live near the station, described the situation as often being like “hell” with thousands of walkers passing their door each year, some stopping to urinate nearby and others verbally abusing them when they ask them not to park on private land.
The parish council has written on two occasions to the British Heart Foundation whose organised charity walks prompted complaints of noise from residents two years running.
The national park authority says it is developing a code of conduct asking Three Peaks participants to respect those living along the route.
Andrew Blackburn, clerk of Horton-in-Ribblesdale Parish Council said: “We are awaiting the code of conduct that Kate Hilditch of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is putting together, ratifying with the YDNPA, then hopefully the Three Peaks Working Group and the parish council will accept the new code and we can inform all participating organisations and groups of what is expected/accepted practise.”
Walking guide publishers Skyware Press, of Saltaire, has had concern of noise nuisance to residents for some time.
Their latest publication is a guide map, costing £1.99, of the challenge route with suggestions to ensure the journey is safe and doesn’t disturb local people.
Chris Grogan, of Skyware Ltd said: “This little guide is designed to help walkers get the most from their adventure, to find their way easily and safely around the route.
“It is also designed to help address a number of concerns that the rising popularity of the challenge route has raised, with fell rescue services, local residents and the national park authority.
“Our latest publication is a map of the challenge route that urges walkers to have consideration if they start and finish their walk in Horton-in-Ribblesdale but also to consider using the train and maybe starting at Ribblehead.
“We work closely with the National Park and donate to their Three Peaks Project from sales of the map.”
Mrs Grogan says as a guide publisher they want people to enjoy the walks but has concerns of some people setting off ill equipped with incorrect clothing or footwear and no spare kit or food.
This can result in the need for rescue by fell and cave rescue organisations.