By Jane Morris – 24 September 2019

This summer a group of young people working with Depaul UK services in the north west decided to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. Senior Programmes and Client Involvement Manager Jane Morris was part of the support team and has blogged about the day.

The date was set, accommodation booked and the challenge accepted by a brave team of Depaul UK walkers.

To prepare for the challenge – a huge physical and mental undertaking – the Depaul UK team completed training walks around the country, including joining Deloitte fundraisers for a steady 8 miles along the Rochdale Canal.

Five young people accessing Depaul services were joined by three staff members for the walk. Kitted out with waterproofs, walking boots, packed lunches and plenty of water, the team jumped into the van on the morning of the challenge and drove over to the first peak – Pen-Y-Ghent.

When the team arrived our Mountain Lead told us there was a weather warning in place. The weather on the ground was wet and at 6.30am it seemed dark and miserable, but nothing could dampen the spirits of our brave walkers.

After a final check of equipment, an obligatory photo and some motivational cheers, the team set off up Pen-Y-Ghent, the smallest of the Yorkshire Peaks at 2,277 feet. They got to the top, took a quick peek at the dramatic view and then it was time to descend and get back on the road.

With five hours on the clock we took a quick pit stop to fuel up, the group tired and hungry but still excited and very proud of the day’s first achievement.

Next on the agenda was Whernside, which the team trekked up and down in a speedy 3.5 hours, despite poor visibility, more rain and impending nightfall.

With conditions worsening, the group discussed whether to attempt peak number three, but with another group of experienced walkers in sight, staff and young people alike were determined to give it their best shot.

The great British weather didn’t disappoint and Ingleborough, the third and final peak unfortunately became unclimbable. The group returned to the safety of the van, disappointed, tired, wet and hungry but immensely proud and in awe of what they had all gone through together.

The young people who took part felt it was a brilliant experience and one of their best ever days, so I’m sure we’ll be back to tackle Ingleborough someday soon!

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