A 40-year-old charity worker is urging people to register for one of the most arduous charity climbing challenges in England in order to raise vital funds for disabled children.
Ben Sutcliffe, from Eccleshall, in Staffordshire, recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, a 25 mile trek that also takes in a 5,200ft ascent of the craggy Pen-y-Ghen, Whernside and Ingleborough peaks.
His calf burning efforts helped raise funds for Caudwelll Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, where we works as Director of Executive Projects.
Ben, who is an accomplished cyclist and runner who has completed the London marathon and several triathlons, admits that he didn’t find it an easy challenge but says it was a fantastic experience.
And now the father of two is urging others to take on the ‘Summer Solstice’ Three Peaks Challenge, which takes place on Saturday 22nd June, 2019. As he explained: “This challenge isn’t for the faint hearted, and although it was quite difficult at times there are some wonderful views along the route and I found it incredibly rewarding.”
Ben says that the challenge shouldn’t be seen as the poor relation to the National Three peaks Challenge, which sees participants trekking 23 miles and climbing a total ascent of 10,052ft up Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis, the tallest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland.
“You have to spend a lot of time travelling to each mountain during the National Three peak Challenge,” explained Ben. “This gives you time to recover between climbs. But there is no such luxury on the Yorkshire Three Peaks, you go straight from one gruelling challenge to another.
“It’s an experience that I’ll never forget and I can guarantee that anyone who does it will have a real sense of achievement at the end of the challenge.”
Ben says that you don’t have to be an experienced trekker to take part. He said: “Although some of the participants on the climb had previous experience of such a challenge many of those who took part didn’t.
“As long as you have a reasonable level of fitness and can dig deep for a bit of extra grit and determination, it’s a perfectly achievable trek.”
Ben says that everyone worked as a team, encouraging each other throughout the climb to ensure that each participant made it to the end.
“We enjoyed some of the best views of the county,” enthused Ben. “This included breath-taking limestone scenery and a stunning panoramic view from the highest point in Yorkshire.”
The trek starts with a fairly easy gradient for three miles before the route snakes upwards, gaining height, until reaching the summit brings glorious views across the Dales and on to Morecambe Bay and the Lakes.
“The views were staggering,” continued Ben. “We also got to witness the engineering masterpiece of the Ribblehead Viaduct, built in the 1800s by over 2,000 workers.
“During the challenge there were also two opportunities to buy refreshments, including hot drinks, so participants have plenty of time to enjoy the terrain.
“There are also qualified mountain leaders to support climbers every step of the way so participants can rest assured they’re in capable hands.”
It takes about 12 hours to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Ben says it will be the experience of a lifetime.
“Not only that you’ll make new friends and the money raised from the challenge will help Caudwell Children to fund therapies, treatments, specialist equipment and short break activity days for disabled children across the country,” he concluded.
Individual registration fee costs £20 per person with a minimum sponsorship target of £150.
To find out more and register online visit the website here: www.caudwellchildren.com/yorkshirethreepeaks2019/
You can also ring the Events team on 01782 433755