Saturday, 14 April 2012

Days 108, 109, 110 and 111

Despite acknowledging our recent dip in training, we proceeded to do nothing about it, assuming it would be alright on the night (or in this case very very early morning) of the Y3P. So we set off (at 5am!) to be at the official start point by 7am, aiming to have conquored the 3 peaks, Pen-y-Gehnt, Whernside, and Ingleborough, by 7pm, a route covering approximately 26 miles. As soon as we set off into the cold morning, armed with bobble hats cold pasta and cold pizza to see us through the day we realsised that we were idiots to miss even a single training walk in the build up to this. We were overtaken quickly by a troup of ladies in their 40s (dad didnt care becasue he was still the oldest person we'd seen, that his excuse and he's sticking to it) and a man who definitely looked older then 51, but dad says he didnt... Still huffing and puffing and cursing every easter egg last weekend and pint on tour and lazy night in front of the telly we reached the top of the first peak at 8.15am, Ed, mr super-fitness-duke-of-edinburgh-gold-award was the last to make it up, which gave me a smug satisfaction. No urges to shove anyone off mountains yet. Feeling much better about it all after a good start despite lack of fitness I bounded on, this time we were following the group of 5 in front of us, who seemed to be straying from the route, we blindly followed them however, assuming anyone mad enough to be up here at this time of morning must be doing the same as us. We caught them on the downhill and checked (dad must have been feeling chirpy too as he actually ran on the way down the hill!) they were indeed aiming for the 3 peaks, but the man turned out to be a guide (wimps, we didnt need professional help) who we had been lucky to follow as he was leading the group away from waist deep bog, which would have been over head height for me. We followed them accross the fields and moors until we were at the foot of the next mountain at 11am. The flat(ish) walking took us all by surprise as much more strenuous than we had anticipated and Jeff (the guide) told us in the view of many this is harder than the N3P as there you just go up and down your mountain then in the car to the next one. he car sounded like a heavenly place, and with dad and ed bleating for a sit down I allowed 15 minutes break, as long as they promised to emerge from the sit down refreshed and speedy again, which they agreed to do. In hindsight I now know they would agree to anything to get their backsides onto those rocks. Amazingly for all of you who know how lazy I am, when it comes to walking I am not a fan of sitting down, its a waste of time and i'd rather just get on with what we're doing, knowing that once you sit down you cant help but think how nice it would be to never get up again. Dad and ed strongly disagreed however so I had to give in to them, Urging them to their feet 20 minutes later they were amazed to discover that I was right and they were just as tired after they sat down as before, and my smug hapiness had evaporated along with the time we had lost doing nothing. Beginnning the second ascent both their speeds dropped and they were stubborn as mules to my pleas to just man up and get on with it. Frustrated I admit I stomped off and left them, reaching the top alone at 1pm, back on time target and happy. They reached the top coming up to half past 1, still leaving us 5 and a half hours to get on with the final mountain, which I think even at their decleerated pace we could have achieved comfortably. It was just then however that the snow started. I kid you not, a freak thisck white blizzard emerged from nowhere and engulfed s. We decided we'd try and press on in the hope that it would pass but it didnt, and by the time we reached the bottom of the hill we were cold and wet and Dads knees had gone again (he claims, and he was highly averse to my reasoned argument that one is much more prone to injury when one is unfit) and he was relieved by the decision by all that it may be stupid to try carry on. From there things descended into something of a shambles - dont they always with us - after a struggle to find phone signal we contacted mam, who was emant to be picking us up, turns out she was over an hour away thinking she still had 5 hours to get back to the end point. Then there was the issue of us having little idea where we actually were, cue much blank staring at the map and pointing out of houses/rocks/trees that may be usefull landmarks. In the end we sent ed out onto the mainest road we could see in the hope that mam would drive down it while i waited with the wounded soldier, who was becoming more and more in need of medical attention (in his opinion) by the minute. Such is random good luck on that friday the 13th mam did drive down the road ed was patrolling and the cavalry came to pick us up. Dad has declared (again) that his 3 peaks is over, and wants to switch our challenge to the coast-to-coaster instead now. Im not keen on giving up on the 3 peaks yet though as im sure we could have finished yesterday without the snow, and may have told dad we can do the "flat wusses walk as well"... So we've learned what we already knew; dont miss training walks, except for today, as none of us can really move.

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