“If you find yourself in a storm and see lightning, maybe don’t stand on the top of the highest peak for miles.” – James Bancroft
We journeyed into the Dales on an overcast Wednesday to take on Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. This was an intimidating prospect for a bunch of videographers, graphic designers, and digital marketers, who are far more at home in the city!
Whilst not always enjoyable, raising money for three amazing charities was all the motivation we needed to grit through. Trust Leeds, Lighthouse Futures Trust & the Terrence Higgins Trust were our chosen partners, and we couldn’t think of three causes we were prouder to champion.
The day didn’t always go to plan (see some of the advice below) but we did have a great time, and thought we’d share some of the lessons we learnt along the way.
“If you find yourself in a storm and see lightning, maybe don’t stand on the top of the highest peak for miles.”James Bancroft, 21 Degrees Digital
- Firstly, checking the weather before you set off in the first case is obviously the best solution. If it’s predicting a 90% chance of rain, maybe it’s not the day for it. But it’s England after all and Mother Nature isn’t always predictable. So, If you do set out and a storms brewing, the best way to dodge lightning are: Find a sheep to use for cover, or if you manage to grab one hold on for dear life as they drag you off the peak. If that fails, get to lower ground as quickly as possible on your own two feet and find shelter.
- Take a spare pair of socks, if you’re walking for 10/14 hours you will appreciate a fresh pair.
- This is for all you light skinned and probably ginger people out there. If you’re partial to a sunburn, take some suncream even if it’s not sunny at the time. Our team were not so prepared and ended up sporting some rather stylish t-shirt tan lines for the next couple weeks.
- If it’s dry and sunny, trainers could be a better shout than walking boots. Depends whether you want to have the extra ankle support but 90% of the walk is on pretty solid footpaths.
- Take some Food. Don’t be that person who takes nothing then constantly scavenges off everyone else. You don’t need a 3-course meal, but foods like a banana, sports drink, chocolate bar and a sandwich for lunch will ensure you keep your energy levels up and hanger levels down.
- Take plenty of water. It’s hard work and you need to keep hydrated. This doesn’t mean taking 3 litres of water, 1/2 per person is plenty enough.
- Having a tipple at the top of each peak can go a long way to perk you up. However, a bag full of beer might sound like a good idea but believe us you’ll soon regret it!
- If one of your groups is a videographer, budget in an extra couple of hours to stop every 5 minutes and turn around to find them 100m back taking their 30th photo of a sheep. We learnt this the hard way.
- Make sure you have a defined meeting point as there is f*ck all signal in some areas, which will have you driving around for 20 minutes to find some and find your group.
- Everyone (well most people) wants a photo to show you’ve managed the walk. Our tip would be to take photos as early as possible as it has a habit of clouding over out of nowhere. Also, the earlier you take it, the less haggard you’re going to look!
- Light. Depending on what time of year it is, make sure you allow enough daylight for the whole walk and set off early enough so you’re not finishing at bedtime in the dark.
- All the gear no idea. Travel light, it’s a day expedition, not a week’s holiday. Believe us your back and legs will appreciate this one.
- Finally, don’t plan on doing anything energetic the next day. We found once you sat down in your chair you’d be there for the rest of the day