Earlier in the summer, a team of eight from Seaford College made the trip up to Yorkshire to complete the Three Peaks Challenge, which requires participants to scale the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Pennines in under 12 hours.
“The weather was appalling – the photos above don’t really do it justice as they were only taken towards the end of the day when things had improved – but I’m delighted to say we completed the challenge in 11 hours and 48 minutes,” said houseparent Matthew Pitteway, who organised the expedition.
“Starting at 7am in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, we headed straight up our first summit in steady rain and fairly strong winds. The climb was quite steady until the final hundred or so meters, when we had to scramble a bit up some pretty steep rock. We arrived at the summit in almost exactly an hour and Peny-y-Ghent was completed.
“The next stage of the challenge was a long slog over to Ribblehead Viaduct to begin climbing our second mountain, Whernside. The slog was about 10 miles and the first few miles were very tough. The ground was very boggy – several bridges had been washed away – and we ended up having to take some pretty long detours. We were feeling pretty tired – and very wet – when we saw a tea van in a desolate spot on the moors. Unable to believe our good fortune, we ordered not just teas and coffees, but also bacon and egg sandwiches and burgers too. This raised the spirits immensely and afterwards the weather improved a bit too.
“Whernside was our highest summit of the day and involved a fairly long climb up alongside the viaduct and railway line before curving back round to the peak. We eventually reached the top at about 2pm and started immediately heading down to the valley floor to begin our ascent of Ingleborough.
“The climb up Ingleborough was fairly straightforward and apart from some strong winds and falling temperatures on top, this was by far the easiest summit we climbed.
“Our final section of the challenge was a six-mile walk back down to Horton, which was quite tough. The village never seemed to be getting any closer and the path was pretty tough under foot. Eventually, though, we made it and reached the pub with just a few minutes to spare.
“The group were excellent. Attitudes were very positive and sitting around eating our evening meal, we all agreed it had been an excellent day on the hills.”