The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge - backwards?

Q. I have completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks before and I know the convention is to go Pen y Ghent - Whernside - Ingleborough.

I plan to do them "backwards" (not walking backwards!) as I like the concept of coming straight down Pen y Ghent and back to the cafe (the stretch from Ingleborough feels like forever at the end of the day).

Any comments from people who already have, or on why the usual route is in the order it is?

Michael Love



A. I've done both ways and from various locations, for me the best way is to tackle Pen Y Ghent last and I prefer to start from Ribbelhead then Whernside, Ingleborough & Pen Y Ghent. This has two advantages in that by the time you've got over half way you've only got the steep rise up Pen Y Ghent to master and the last 6-7 miles is across fairly gentle rolling hills. Secondly, you don't have to pack so much food and (especially) drink as these can be replenished at Horton. A third benefit is that if you're struggling or picked a filthy day in the weather department the train can be taken to return to Ribblehead and you've still had a halfway decent hike.

Martin Cossins, Leeds


A. Well, thanks for the interesting input, people, but now I can answer my own question.

Did the walk a couple of weeks ago on a glorious (if windy on the peaks) day. The walk up Ingleborough was a pleasant start and the view across towards Whernside, seeing your route across the valley and up, was pretty enough.

Roger was right about it being busy passing folk doing the 'standard route' on the way down Whernside (whilst they slogged up).

We got to Ribblehead in just under five hours and we were full of beans, but Sue was right about the long boggy slog through the moorland to Pen y ghent: it felt like forever.

Mike was also right about the possibility of missing out Pen y ghent, but psychologically we are a bloody minded lot and we went up and over, finishing it just over nine hours.

Personally I prefer the 'backward' clockwise route because of the fewer folk and the immediacy of completing the first two peaks, and next time I will be ready for the slog to Pen y ghent!

Thanks, folks.

Michael Love, Morecambe


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