By Jonathan Smalley, senior head boy of Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Sixth Form, Altrincham, and Rory Claydon, senior deputy head boy.
The Yorkshire Three Peaks was both a physically and mentally demanding task however the walk itself was a combination of personal achievement and to help a brilliant cause.
We did the Yorkshire Three Peaks for the Blue Lamp Foundation – A great cause founded by police constable David Rathband 2010 shortly after Raoul Moat shot him.
The charity aids all Emergency Service workers who have put their lives on the line and been injured as a result of criminal damage. It has already helped the services community by doing things such as aiding a Paramedic whose leg was shattered by a lorry whilst attending a incident on the motorway – The Blue Lamp Foundation gave him money to give him a prosthetic limb and help him get rehabilitated.
The involvement of getting up at 4am wasn’t the most pleasant however a fry-up at Rory’s at 5am was brilliant and prepared us for the challenge ahead!
After the two hour drive to Yorkshire we embarked on our journey at 7.30am to tackle the Three Peaks. After a short walk we found ourselves at the bottom of the first peak, Pen-y-ghent, tackling this was our first experience of what lay ahead but from teamwork and encouragement we found ourselves at the top of the peak with patches of ice forming on our face-warmers.
The walk between Peak 1 and Peak 2 was 12 miles of road, hills and mud, a tiring walk, however we got through it and found ourselves looking up at the second peak – Whernside – This was a very arduous peak with a slow climb which was hard on the feet and a very quick and steep descent giving our knees a tough time. After getting up to the second peak the walk to the third was very boggy however it was good fun.
The third peak – Ingleborough – looked the most daunting with snow covering the top of it. The ascent was definitely the hardest where we had to scale rock faces and face a very steep final climb to the peak, when we got there it was a marvelous sense of achievement and we posed for a few pictures.
However it was not over yet as we still faced a 7-mile walk to the finish. The weather was awful with severe rain and a hailstorm but we made the most of it and had a good laugh. We finally got to the finish in 11 hours and 30 minutes.
Overall it was a great achievement and we came out with blisters, shoulder pains and exhaustion – But it was all worth it for the great cause. We wanted to show our appreciation to all the Emergency Services are always putting their lives on the line for all of Britain and we think we should give something back which is why we did the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
The whole group are proud to say that all the money the raised will be going where it matters most – To the brave men and women of the United Kingdoms Emergency Services.
The photos, courtesy of Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Sixth Form, show the students at the first, second and third peaks.