Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
7am, Saturday morning May 21st, we're clambering hand over foot over wet rock, through mist, through a cloud, rain and wind. It finally dawns on us what we've got ourselves into, but we're doing this for a good cause. We can't turn back. Our tears mingle with the rain.
We reach the top. It's pretty satisfying. We know we're up high but we can't see a thing because we're in a cloud. We share Babybels.
By lunch it's pouring. Our teams have split and spirits are low. Someone has let slip we've only walked 3 miles. We eat wet sandwiches, smoke wet cigarettes. This is crap. We've lost Joffrey.
This is great! We are on top of the second peak! It's been a sunny hike up! We share whiskey in a cloud! We're grinning! Friends! Team! Resilience! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
One more peak to go. We could feel worse. Considering the hours we spend at our desks, we could feel a hell of a lot worse. Yes, there's some aching, some blisters, some chaffing but all in all. The land is beautiful.
We're almost there. No point stopping, no point talking, we're a single, fluid string of colourful cagoules winding up the mountain side.
And we've made it! We're on the top of Ingleborough. Take it all in. Just take it all in - the huge sky, the puny hills below, and each other: sweaty and wind swept. There's nothing left for it: to the pub we go.
It's a 2 hour aching, blistering, desperate slog down to the pub. But then we're there. We're in the sweltering heat of The Golden Lion, full of bone aching exhaustion but the pints are cold and delicious. We've found Joffrey.Two pints in we have drunk ourselves to oblivion.