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" Railway Children - 3 Peaks - Scafell Pike "

Date & start time: Friday  24th June 2016,  9 am start. ( NY183 074)

Location of Start : The Brackenclose NT car park, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited :       Brackenclose, Brown Tongue, Hollow Stones, Lingmell Coll and back.

Walk details :          4.5 mls approx,  2400 feet of ascent,  7 hour 30 mins including a big stop.

Highest point :       Lingmell Coll, 2550 ft above sea level.

Walked with :         Dylan and myself, with seven colleagues and about 160 charity walkers.

Weather :                 Cloud on the tops, one rain shower but ending in beautiful sunshine.

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Today we meet up with an impressive group of fellwalkers

who are climbing the three highest peaks of the mainland UK, raising money for the Railway Children Charity

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The teams take three days for this event. They travel to and from London by train, picking up people as they travel north.

After climbing Snowdon last night at midnight, they journeyed to Dalegarth in Eskdale by La'al Ratty narrow gauge railway this morning

and are on their way over from Eskdale already.

They must be back on their train at Ravenglass by 7pm in order to travel up to Fort William as they are due to climb Ben Nevis tomorrow.

A Three Peaks attempt, using the sensible option of rail transport plus local coaches, rather than a mad-dash attempt with loads of mini-buses.

I'm part of the safety crew to try and make sure they all get up and down easily and without mishap.

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The teams will be starting this walk from the Eskdale Railway terminus at Boot in Eskdale at about 10 am.

I have to be on the hill and ready by the time they reach me on Lingmell Coll . . . so I head directly for Brackenclose in Wasdale.

The weather forecast is reasonable . . . but there could be a shower or two and that mist may not rise.

My immediate companion today . . . Dylan . . . as we get ready for a Challenge event on Scafell Pike.

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Today there are 39 teams of four raising money for the Railway Children and Street Children charity.

I collect my team sheets and three radios (two for colleagues), check my kit and head off up the fell.

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Kirk Fell as we head towards the Brackenclose footbridge.

We are directed to the right hand side of the river and so avoid disturbing the folk at the mountain hut on the other side.

Climbing up Brown Tongue having crossed Lingmell Beck.

It is a humid day and so is difficult to balance clothing for the cooler conditions as we climb.

Looking up from the same place . . . that cloud isn't clearing very much at all.

Paul and I say farewell for now to our fellow marshall Malcolm as he reaches his location at the Mickledore path junction.

This will be my view for the rest of the working day . . . Lingmell Coll.

The radios crackle into life and tell us the first groups are already on the hill.

No time for a quick bonus trip to the summit today.

My colleague Paul heads off to Lingmell as he is not officially on call today.

I wait here at the end of the Corridor Path from Styhead for two more to join me and collect their radios and team lists.

They have saved time and road mileage by walking in from Seathwaite rather than drive all the way round.

As they head off up the fell, one to the summit of The Pike and the other part way up,

the mist seems to follow them and distant visibility is lost . . . time to put up a shelter as the sky is looking darker !

It may be basic but it does the job of sheltering myself, Dylan and our kit during any rain . . . and it looks like rain now.

There are always people climbing The Pike. 

The challenge for us is to identify and talk to our teams and not to accost the many other walkers using the path today.

The first teams start to arrive . . . time to check team names, make sure they are happy and to advise about navigation in the mist.

The popular question . . . how far to the top ?

Jonathan Mottershead whom I've met on previous Railway Children’s Walks recognised Dylan and myself

and stopped with his team "Atom Ant 2016" to say hello and we chatted about this year's event compared to previous years.

Team Willian 2014
Team Wiley Coyote 2015

He lives in London and has done the event for each of the last two years.

It is uncanny how his picture this year almost exactly matches the one last year . . . even two of his companions then are with him today.

Along the way I also said hello to Richard Laverick, an ex-colleague from George Fishers,

who now works for British Rail and was on the walk with one of the teams.

Time passes and so do 38 out of the 39 teams.

Just one team pulled out after the walk across from Boot to Brackenclose.

You know what Dylan . . . I think the weather is definitely improving.

Lingmell has been consistently clear for a while now.

" Mmmm . . . tend to agree . . . what happened to lunch ? "

It was about half an hour to the top

so after twice that time the first teams started to pass my position on the way down . . . get the team sheets out again.

My colleague John has crossed from his morning position at Maiden Castle and join me at the coll

as two of the challengers call over to speak to our dogs !

Nearing the end of the list and the weather has improved . . .

so John checks the teams through as I pack up the shelter and we get ready to follow the last teams down.

We head down the Hollow Stones path back towards Brackenclose far below.

The weather has come up trumps and the Scafell Crags are looking beautiful.

A quick look back at Mickledore Coll as we reached Malcolm's position.

On the path down Brown Tongue . . .

The river crossing to come . . . easy today as it has been a relatively dry summer.

The final walk across to the car park at Brackenclose . . .

. . . and a round of applause from the Global Challenge events team for part two completed.

As we head home for our supper, the teams head back to Ravenglass and their special train waiting for them at the station.

They still have Ben Nevis to climb in the morning . . . respect !

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                       Post Script . . . from friends in high places :-

Richard Laverick (in blue)
Boarding their main line train.
Richard's team mates.
Climbing Ben Nevis
High above Fort William
3 Peaks . . . sorted !

Richard has sent me the link to his photos of the event.

Snowdon, their first peak, was completed the previous evening, mainly in the dark so no photos.

many thanks for permission to publish your photos here.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, the SLR being a bit bulky to carry today.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the fellowship of a shared challenge.

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Previous walk - 22nd June - Meg's Roman Wall Tour

A previous time up here - 19th June 2015 - Railway Children - Scafell Pike - 2015

Next walk - 25th/26th June 2016 - Lorna's Picnic in the Park