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Railway Children Three Peaks Challenge
Date & start time: Friday 25th June 2010, 10.30 am start.
Location of Start : Brackenclose NT car park, Wasdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 183 075 )
Places visited : Maiden Castle, Brackenclose and up to the Lingmell Gill crossing.
Walk details : 4.75 mls, 1800 ft, 9 hrs including extended periods of work.
Highest point : Above Maiden Castle 1700ft - 523m.
Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Bethan plus marshalling colleagues and participants.
Weather : Overcast, misty and poor viz to start, improving as the day went on. Very Warm.
The Railway Children Three Peaks weekend has become established as an annual charity fund raising event.
The charity it supports exists to help vulnerable children and young people who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress.
The event is organised on their behalf by Global Challenge UK .
About one hundred and sixty people (40 teams) are on the Scafell Pike leg of their weekend attempt at climbing the three highest peaks of mainland Britain. The nice thing about the way this event is organised is that they are not rushing about the country using their own transport, but are using rail transport as far as possible. They have been sponsored by a major train company who has lent a spare main line train for them to travel between the major walking centers.
The money raised, which is likely to exceed several hundred thousand pounds, goes to helping homeless children that live on the streets and railway stations round the world where they struggle just to survive.
Find out more about the charity and should you feel moved to add a little to their total, or help in other ways, a link can be found by clicking here.
Today I'm helping supervise the Cumbrian section of their event as part of a team of marshals.
We set off from Brackenclose in advance of the teams arriving in order to be in place to help should we be needed.
In view of the time, this is as far as I climb before leaving the others to continue on towards Boot.
I break off to get a view down to the lake before returning back to the valley.
Looking across to the grassy panorama of Scafell, Slight Side and Eskdale Fell, hazy in today's morning mist.
It has rained overnight but the forecast is for a fine day.
Looking across to the crags of Buckbarrow on the other side of Wast Water.
Far below, Over Beck with the trees and Nether Beck, above and beyond the Bowderdale farmhouse.
To the left is Middle Fell and Seatallan, with Haycock in shade to the right.
The head of Wasdale Valley with Pillar, Kirk Fell and Great Gable summits just lost in cloud.
A small cairn was a good target to reach before I headed back down.
Behind the cairn are the slopes of Slight Side and the top of the triangular peak, Harter Fell.
Still . . . I'm not here to enjoy myself . . . it's time to do some work.
The teams who all have some commercial link with UK railway companies, are usually made up of three or four friends or colleagues.
After the walk over from Eskdale, they cross the field to myself at the Brackenclose footbridge, the start of the next section of the walk.
From here they climb Scafell Pike, the second of the three peaks of their long weekend.
Many take advantage of the checkpoint to grab a snack or even some lunch before starting up the main climb.
Most people are on the way up now, climbing the Hollow Stones route to Lingmell Coll and the summit.
The walk will take the quickest teams 3.5 hours, the slowest . . .
well we hope they're down by 7 pm or their train may leave without them !
The last teams are checked in and the first half of my work is done.
This is part of Team Henry I believe, stopping for a photo call on the Brackenclose Bridge.
Harry and Bethan take the opportunity to cool off in the stream . . . it is a warm afternoon after all.
I make it up as far as the crossing point before we meet the first team, already returning on their way down.
It's time for me to turn around and go back to Brackenclose too.
I pass Phill who is on duty at the path junction to make sure that the teams don't take the other path over to the Wasdale Inn.
If they want a swift pint of liquid refreshment they should have time at the Ratty Arms in Ravenglass before they leave for Scotland.
The "meet and greet" team are wide awake and ready to check the participants back in.
Team Spencer (I believe) after a successful summit bid.
They climbed Snowdon last night and will be up and wide awake at 5am tomorrow for the climb up Ben Nevis.
The last team and some of the Challenge UK staff catch the final minibus back to the train,
ready and waiting at the main line station in Ravenglass.
The support services pack up their equipment and get ready to leave.
" On their way to Scotland "
And even as we leave there are more individuals and private groups just starting their way up Scafell Pike
on the never ending summer challenge of " The Three Peaks ".
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a reliable backup team to give 'dogged' support.
Previous walk - 21st June 2010 The Classic Howtown Walk
A previous event here - 22nd September 2006 Burnmoor Tarn and the Railway Children Walk
Find out more about the charity and should you feel moved to add a little to their total, a link can be found by clicking here.
Next walk - 28th June 2010 Carrock Fell - High Pike