The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue column with David Dennis

The start of this year's Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge.
The start of this year's Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge.

It was a most glorious sunny day for supporters of the our Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge as they made their way around the three routes at the team’s sixth annual event.

Some 375 people signed up for the three challenges which all started and finished in Kettlewell with young families striding out on the four and a half mile route on the Valley Walk along the Dalesway and Paradise Path.

The more serious walkers and runners tackled either the 22-mile three peaks route of Birks Fell, Buckden Pike and Great Whernside or the 13.5 mile two peaks route of Buckden Pike and Great Whernside

Amongst the entrants we had mountain biker Thomas Steven who we rescued following a crash in Guiseclffe Woods near Pateley Bridge.

He made a determined recovery to take part and fundraise for us.

He made it round the whole way to applause from some of the members who had attended to his injuries during his accident

This year’s event was the most difficult to manage due to a number of challenges.

The exceptionally hot and humid weather caused difficulties for a large number of participants with 55 retiring early at various locations around the various courses.

This required a lot of management in the control vehicle to facilitate the safe return of everyone back to the registration field in Kettlewell.

Water had to be constantly delivered to check points to replenish the rapidly dwindling stocks.

Not long after the start we had to assist a female who was taken ill on the route to Firth Fell.

A stretcher carry was needed to meet a team vehicle on the fell, transportation was then made back to the roadside in Kettlewell to rendezvous with an ambulance.

Thanks to actions by team members and then the ambulance crew a good recovery was made.

Early afternoon the team received a callout to an incident at Burnsall to assist the ambulance service with a male casualty.

Along with dealing with our W3P event this placed a huge strain on team resources, all available personnel being dispatched to the incident.

It left three team members and three volunteers on the field. We really had become the “Thin Red Line”.

As the afternoon progressed the number of people needing assistance back to the finish grew.

Thankfully team members had now returned from Burnsall.

Everyone was accounted for and once back at Kettlewell they were fed by our team caterers and volunteers in the village hall who did a sterling job all day.

All the team members and all the volunteer supporters worked tirelessly from 6am until the final close down at 8pm.

Monies have yet to come in from some sponsored entrants but we are anticipating the event will have raised well in excess of £6,000.

Next year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 27.