Sunday, 10 June 2007

The New Inn, Clapham - Sunday 10th June 2007 - Queen Victoria's Bloomers and Alan Bennett

Sunday breakfast sees a somewhat subdued A team after yesterdays extreme exertions and the two Johns, Chris and Fred leave soon after breakfast. Roger and Pete stay to read the papers while Martin, Alan, Paul, Steve and Mike decide to have a leisurely stroll along the intriguingly named Clapdale Drive .... beside "The Lake" then alongside Clapham Beck to visit the Ingleborough Cave at Upper Beck Head and the delights of Queen Victoria's Bloomers and other attractions.

Shortly after we finish the tour of the cave there is a mini-sleep outside on the grass in the warm sunshine. Eventually, we amble back to the New Inn to join the rest of the team only to find that the food has finished!

So we all wandered up to the Clapham Cafe. While we are waiting outside, as it was quite busy, who should we see entering the cafe but THE Alan Bennett. So if it's good enough for him .... Once inside we look at the menu for 5-10 min and then decide it's 5 rounds of bacon butties (the red-faced chef-ess slaving over a hot stove is not impressed with our order!).

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Saturday, 9 June 2007

The New Inn Clapham, Saturday 9th June 2007 - Three Peaks and Three Sleeps

Breakfast (for some) at 6.30am. One of the team has to be raised from his pit by mobile phone. Mike has had a restless night sharing a room with JK but at least he'd got a packed lunch unlike the rest of us. John has apparently had a few words with "him upstairs" for support but Steve is relying only on surgical supports ..... to ankles and knees.

Steve (still trying to wake up) and John drive the other 5 A-Teamers over to Horton-in-Ribblesdale getting virtually the last spots in a rapidly filling car park. It seems like the whole world and his dog has descended on Horton to do the Three Peaks Challenge today. Our sole topic of conversation seems to be "Are we seriously going to do this/We must be mad etc.".

We call at the Cafe to take on board water and provisions and then take partial team photos outside the Cafe. Steve sets his GPS to record the event for posterity (and so he can keep reminding people how far we had come or had to go)and we set off around 7.25am.

We reach Pen-y-Ghent (see photo) around 8.45pm and it's starting to warm up.

Steve manages a few bites of his bacon butty salvaged from a hastily taken breakfast and seems to get a spurt on. (or is he just trying to cure his hangover).

Meanwhile, the B team is having a late, leisurely breakfast and decide to scale the heights of Ingleborough from Clapham.

It's a long trek from Pen-y-Ghent to Ribblehead in the warm sunshine. Steve and Dave take the lead and reach Ribblehead at 11.15am. (N.B. half an hour before the rest of the team). Steve promised Chris if he did do the 3Ps he would be taking it slowly!

Steve has arranged to meet up with his friend Richard and once all the team has arrived we take a well earned breather and carry out running repairs to feet courtesy of John K's first aid kit. Mike decides that even with first aid his feet won't make it to Whernside and decides to head straight for Ingleborough. Surprisingly, there are no takers for a pint at the Ribblehead Inn. John M. tells us the worst is yet to come.

We leave Ribblehead debating which way to ascend Whernside. In the end we follow the crowd and soon Steve announces we're half-way round (12 miles?). As we reach the bridge over the Carlisle to Settle railway we see a lot of people waiting around and then realise it's because there is a steam train due any minute. There then follows a lot of coughing and spluttering.

Meanwhile, its 1.00pm and the B team resting from their arduous scaling of Ingleborough are embarking on their third (and I'm reliably informed most impressive) sleep hence the B Team walk becomes the Three Sleeps walk.

Mike calls Steve on his mobile and leaves a message to say he's reached the top of Ingleborough. (Steve gets the message on Sunday!).

Back with the A team they reach the summit of Whernside around 2.00pm where Chris uncovers his foot. The general consensus is that Alison will have to amputate! Dave calls home and gets a first - a team public warning! Meanwhile, Chris phones Alison for remote assistance and a fly does a weird kamikaze into the combined sunblock/insect repellent Richard is applying. John M. again tells us the worst is yet to come.

Onwards and downwards where the Ribblehead viaduct again comes into view. As we reach the valley near Bruntscar Richard decides to head back to Ribblehead and home to Hawes. Soon we reach an enterprising farm on Philpin Lane where Paul and Steve take on refreshments of fresh orange and a lucozade whilst the others press on, heads down (sensing the worst is yet to come?. Paul and Steve catch the others up and the team starts to tackle the ascent of Ingleborough. However, it turns out not to be that bad after all (the worst was not to come!). Steve and Paul complete the two pitches to the top, only stopping before the last pitch.

Jubilation all round as we reach the summit of Ingleborough and the Trig. point at around 5.00pm and team photo ensues.

Steve informs everyone - "20 miles down, only 4.0 miles to go". John K. cheers up "...only 4 to go?"

It's a Long slog back to Horton. Paul and Dave lead the way. The signpost we pass saying 2.5 miles to Horton is definitely wrong! Meanwhile the skies over to the NE look distinctly black and threatening. Steve catches up Paul and Dave as they descend from the Railway crossing into Horton. We make it back to the car park about 6.50pm as it just starts to rain. We have done it under the required 12 hours!

John K. John M. and Chris soon follow. As we arrive back at the New Inn the B team have thoughtfully provided a tray of foaming pints of Golden Bo**ocks to quench our thirst.

Time for hot bath and then dinner at 8.00pm. The waitress tells us that the 3Ps team on the next table to us apparently got back at 4.00pm and is very disparaging about our A-team's efforts - but we think this is a sign she's getting to like us. After the meal Fred wins the sweep stake fair and square.

We retire to the bar for coffee and liqueurs and lick our wounds.
It being the Saturday night of the OGWWE, it's malt whisky tasting and a few stalwarts stay up to take part. As per last night, not much is recalled after that!

So how did we do? See what the other competitors' times were on the day (plus some amusing team names). Three Peaks - The BT Skanska Three Peaks Challenge

Here are our Three Peaks Challenge stats, maps and stuff .
  • Completers: Chris, Curls, John K., John M., Mike, Paul, Steve
  • Time: 11 hours and 25 minutes
  • Moving average speed: 2.3 mph
  • Total distance: 24.2 miles (As recorded by Steve's Garmin ForeTrex 101)
  • Ascent: 5,134 feet
  • Highest Point: Whernside 2387 feet
  • Will we do it again: No!
Here's the route on the right as captured by Steve's GPS.
(Numbers in blue as follows: 4 digits numbers are time of day in 24hr format, integers are cumulative miles)

... and here's the route profile

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Friday, 8 June 2007

The New Inn, Clapham - Friday 8th June 2007 - Avoiding the Norber Erratics and the Game Cock-up

It's a beautiful warm summer's day. The first arrivals at the New Inn, Clapham are Alan, Mike, Steve, Martin, Paul and Fred arriving between 12 and 1.00pm. Alan's soon booted up and ready to go off on a walk,...... minded of last year's lunchtime session!

However, the others suggest at least one pint(oh yeah!) and some lunch (said Fred). Anyway, we needed at least an hour to debate where we should walk. Two or Three pints later (approx. around 2.00pm) we decide on a walk from the pub around Norber (as suggested by Steve's friend Richard) and set off up Church Avenue where Fred stops at the local outdoor shop to replace his sartorially elegant knotted hanky for a more practical baseball cap. It's very warm walking and we decide to cut the walk short and miss out the delights of the Norber Erratics (see map) and anyway Fred and Martin soon decide to give up when we reach the crossroads with Townhead Lane and Crummack Lane.

Four of us carry on northwards along Crummack Lane and soon Steve spots a crate of Coke in the side of the road which appears to have fallen off the back of a lorry. (Not one to miss an opportunity!). Further on we spot some workers rebuilding a stone wall and Paul asks them if they have lost any Coke (to very puzzled looks!). Near Norber in what looks like a sheep pen we spot an odd collection of what looked at first sight like Dinosaur eggs. (see photo). Anyone any ideas? Answers on a postcard please.

We carry on and turn right towards Wharfe crossing over the clapper bridge at Austwick Beck. It was warm and the seat by the wall looked inviting so we stop for a rest and a swig of water.

We watch as two dogs cool off in the beck - but unfortunately their lady owners didn't join them! After a while we then carry on down Whitestone Lane towards Wharfe. Everyone, by now, was getting rather thirsty and looking forward to refreshments at the pub in Austwick.

Unfortunately, the Game Cock wasn't open and as we left the pub muttering about this outrage we meet Dave, Roger, Pete and Chris on their way for a walk in the direction we had just come from.

At the end of the village we reached a gate on our right with a footpath sign to Clapham. There was a much needed cooling breeze as we cross the open fields parallel to the road back to Clapham where we arrive around 5.30pm.

There's just time for a quick wash and brush up in time to partake of a few more pre-dinner pints of the excellent Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin. Soon, the final members of our party John K. and John M. arrive. Dinner is at 7.30pm.

As usual we leave the experts to choose the wine err. . that means Mike and Dave.

Pete chooses an appropriate point to call the OGWWE committee to order .... and to check everyone's paid their dues.

Mike proposes a toast to Pete for organising the event this year.
and then more wine is ordered ...

John and Dave seem to be deep in conversation (Muttering about the Three Peaks perhaps?)

Overheard conversation Pete talking to Chris (actually recorded on my mobile phone for some bizarre reason!) -" .... the Yorkshire Dales answer to crop circles... People from the local pub" What was that all about guys?

After dinner we retire to the bar for coffee. The discussion then begins about what to do for Saturday's walk. So the question is - who started the suggestion of doing the Three Peaks? Anyway that someone suggested that since we're here we had better do it. Only John M. says he has done it. Adding comfortingly that it was 18 odd years ago and that you needed to start early!

There then followed a lot of "well I'll do it if he does it", "No way I'm doing it" and other assorted various wimp outs followed by a few more beers. Finally, after yet more pints of Golden B****cks the 3Peaks suggestion is put to the vote. Seven stout souls raise their hands (although by this time some of them didn't know what they were voting for). We thereby form teams A and B comprising: A Team (Three Peaks):- Chris, Dave, John K., John M., Mike, Paul and Steve and the B Team:- Fred, Roger, Alan, Pete and Martin.

A member of the A team (obviously still reasonably compos mentis!) then arranges to call the breakfast lady(whose gone home) to ask her to do extra breakfasts. Whereupon, people start sloping off to bed muttering about getting up at 6.00am etc. This prompts Martin to retire to the car park to retrieve his new custom made banjo and start the evening's entertainment. 3 Team B members and 2 (foolish) Team A members stay on to join in the sing-song
(and yet more pints!)- not much is recalled after that.

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