The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is a major and popular mountaineering challenge. Twenty four and a half miles and over 5,000 feet of climbing across the highest land in Yorkshire are the raw details of an exceptional day.
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is an extremely popular walk. Nearly 100,000 people a year complete the challenge which is now the most popular 1 day challenge walk in England. The walk is not the best way to appreciate the individual mountains but that is not why people choose to complete it. I have completed the challenge over 30 times, mainly as a guide for large parties. However my initial completion was as an individual. Like many I found it a bit of a trawl during the day but immensely satisfying on completion. Many hours of head down plodding is interspersed with short periods of intense pleasure.
The climbs of Pen y Ghent and Whernside are the best climbs of each mountain but that up Ingleborough is not. The best route up Ingleborough is from Clapham. The 3 Peaks challenge route up Ingleborough is a real sting in the tail with one steep and unpleasant section finishing off a few walkers. I also find the long 5 1/2 mile section between Pen y Ghent and Ribblehead a struggle. The steep descent of Whernside (although improved in 2018) can worry some people. My favourite section though is the final five miles of Ingleborough, a lovely route through the limestone.
Pen y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough are 3 of the Dales 30 Mountains
It may be worth starting the walk at Ribblehead rather than the traditional start at Horton, particularly on a Saturday to avoid the crowds.
I have written a comprehensive guide book on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. It describes the climb but also has much more information on its background, geology, history and outside contributors on path maintenance, caving and fell running.
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