A very definite first

For those of you who don’t know me, and I’m kind of hoping that several newbies will drop in for a read, I am not outdoorsy, fit, sporty, or a great fan of the clothing required for the associated activity; though I do like comfy flat shoes. This bit of biog is essential background to why I’m writing a blog post about my walk up Pen-y-Ghent – vaguely historic, and a definite first. And as further background I am agoraphobic; any views that are described as breathtaking, stunning, awe-inspiring will render me breathless, stunned and awe-struck, with a touch of panic and hysteria thrown in for that fully rounded experience. Tears and retching are often the result.  Another reason I like comfy flat shoes is that I can rapidly turn my attention to them when someone utters that terrifying phrase, “Oh! Wow! Look!”


I’ve decided to use the pics I took as the route through the story.  Stopping to take these was my canny method of pausing to get my breath back, though I’ll try and avoid putting the expletives that ran through my head onto the page. Please appreciate my bravery in actually  raising my mobile phone to take in the view…


Snowdrops in a graveyard seem rather poignant. New life in the midst of death. But always  a welcome first sign of spring; winter is behind us! But is it?!


A nice gentle stroll past the graveyard and past cats. Cats! In less
than five minutes I saw 12 cats. Horton-in-Ribblesdale, what is it with the cats? But forget the cats; what about this snow? It’s March. March!!more snow
Around this point we caught up with several other groups of walkers, and the cry ‘nearly at the top’ was patently a lie for us Pen-y-Ghent virgins. When we were ‘nearly at the top’ it was impossible to do anything other than concentrate on clambering up rocks and avoid looking down.

  This unprepossessing column, I am told, is a trig point.

But more importantly it was the top, and I’d reached  it!  The expected fanfare was resounding in its silence. I got my partner to take a picture of me to prove my achievement, but even Photoshop couldn’t have manipulated that ruddy glow into anything pleasant, so it got deleted. You’ll need to take my word for the fact that I, me, myself took this picture. At the top of one of the Three Peaks!


going down5

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this looks like a pleasant path downward. It was bleeding treacherous! Ice, snow and lots of loose shale meant that I skidded about in a very unseemly manner for at least a mile. And then there were the little hillocks of grit waiting to be raked flat to make the way a little easier – running up and over these was great fun. Though I don’t think my knees are thanking me for this bit of frolicking. Suffice to say that as the fleets of agile fell runners zipped past I wasn’t thinking, “I’m going to do that one day”. What I actually thought probably shouldn’t be repeated, so I won’t.

greenwall final
And this luscious wall could hardly be described as dry stone, could it? This green glory lined the last stretch of our trek; the totally flat, viewless stretch of our trek. Blissful!

I’m still not outdoorsy, fit, or sporty and I still don’t like the clothes much but you know what? It was as close to enjoyable as 9.8 km, mainly uphill, with panoramic views across a vast expanse of Yorkshire, is ever likely to get! But the chances of doing the other two of the Three Peaks remain fairly slim.


  1. Susan Westerman
    Mar 3, 2013

    I continue to be impressed. Well done. I’d love to do that. One day soon maybe. Look forward to seeing you Fri. Xx

  2. Chris
    Mar 5, 2013

    There’s still two more to go. Just one, huh!

    There again, at your age!!


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