Hello Sunshine Readers,
It has been a very exciting week here at The Sunshine Fund as our thrill-seeking trek team embarked on The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Trek last Friday.
It was an early start for the trekkers as we set off from Newcastle’s Central Station at 4am, but with a Greggs in hand (you’ve gotta love Newcastle!) and the excitement of the challenge ahead brewing, we were off!
We arrived at Horton in Ribblesdale just after 6am and after a quick snack restock, we headed out to meet the wonderful Michael and Carl from Adventure Northumberland, who would be guiding us over the mountains.
We began the ascent up the first peak, Pen-y-Ghent, at 7am and our first group of trekkers had reached the 694m high summit by 8:15am (not without the boost of a brownie or two along the way).
The rest of the group followed shortly behind, and we were all on our way to Ribblehead Viaduct.
The next section of our trek was the longest, stretching about 13km and taking around 3 hours to complete.
This section of the route is relatively flat and is enjoyed in abundance by the local livestock. Upon reaching Ribblehead, it was time to rest and refuel before setting off for Whernside.
The second peak of the challenge takes a little longer than the first but has a much more gradual ascent.
The views along the route are spectacular, with the beautiful Force Gill Waterfall marking the halfway point of the challenge.
We managed to grab a quick snack at the summit, before heading back down the other side of the mountain.
Whist Whernside’s ascent is gradual, the same cannot be said for her descent. Trekkers were met with a steep, uneven climb down the mountain, which is not particularly pleasant on the knees!
Nevertheless, we persevered and reached the second checkpoint just before 3pm.
It must be said that making it to this point in the trek is a massive achievement.
The first two-peaks alone presented a huge challenge which was certainly not for the
With this in mind, we completely understood when some of our trekkers opted to not advance to the third peak.
This group instead enjoyed a tranquil walk through the local hills and fields, before heading back to Horton in Ribblesdale for a well-deserved rest and a pint!
Meanwhile, those of us who managed to muster up the energy headed for the third and final peak - Ingleborough.
This is the steepest and toughest mountain of the three, but Team Sunshine was not to be deterred.
With the ending so close in sight and a team morale that could have been felt halfway across the Dales, we pushed full-steam ahead and reached Ingleborough’s summit in just 75 minutes!
I’m not sure I could quite describe the feeling when we reached the top of the mountain, but it certainly was special.
The sense of achievement we felt as a group was overwhelming and only made sweeter by the knowledge that our efforts had contributed to changing the lives of children living with disabilities and terminal illnesses across the North East.
After many hugs and having taken plenty of photographs to document our achievements,
it was time to head back down the mountain to meet the rest of the team and head home.
Our descent took around two hours, making our total challenge time 11.5 hours!
We ended the day back on the bus, tucking into a caterpillar cake, as it was the lovely Luke’s 24th Birthday; what an incredible way to celebrate the start of a new year!
Thanks to our trekkers spectacular fundraising efforts, the total amount raised for our Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge was £7500!
This money will make a huge difference to the lives of our Sunshine Children, and for this we are eternally grateful!
We must say a massive thank you to our friends at Gym Group Newcastle East for providing our trekkers with memberships and weekly training sessions to help them get Trek ready.
A huge thank you also to our guides, Michael and Carl, from Adventure Northumberland; your knowledge of the mountains is second-to-none and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Overall, the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge was an incredible experience which I would urge anyone to try in the future.
Now the question is, where do we go next?