5 min read

Shape take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for The Christie

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Updated on 07 Mar 2024

In the fast-paced world of deadlines and Zoom calls, it's easy to forget the power of teamwork beyond the office walls. But what if I told you on a gloomy September day, we all swapped our computer screens for hiking boots, compeeds, and energy gels (not a fan myself🤮) and tackled a 24-mile (38.6km🥵) round trip route, which includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent through the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) & Ingleborough (723 metres) in the second best county in the country, Yorkshire.

The challenge? To do it all in under 12 hours (Yeh, I know, we're stupid) aaaaand raise as much dosh as we can for a very important charity, The Christie.

Yorkshire Three Peaks
Take a look at  
how it went

Why did we do this?

The idea of challenging ourselves to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks took root during a casual conversation over a lunch break, when I asked the team if they fancied it, and soon the enthusiasm spread like wildfire through the office (okay, maybe not amongst everyone - not mentioning any names... Andy😉).

We'd never really done many 'active' outings - we've travelled far and wide, eaten a lot, drank a lot, and socialised a lot, but never pushed ourselves physically as a group before, so I thought this was the ideal challenge, being not too far away either, all whilst raising money for a great cause.

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Now, we took this seriously, we don't mess around here at Shape and we made sure to start our training well in advance. Turning a group of developers and designers into avid hikers required meticulous planning. We started by doing summer hikes after work, usually every week, at the same time as starting our fundraising efforts. 

We'd try local hikes up Rivington way, to White Coppice, Dovestones, and the list goes on... Come rain or shine we were OUT 💪  No stopping us lads

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The Christie

Selecting the right charity was a crucial step in organsing and we unanimously chose to do this challenge in aid of The Christie. Based in our hometown of Manchester, The Christie is the largest single-site cancer centre in Europe, who support and treat over 60,000 cancer patients a year, providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. 

With The Christie being a charity particularly close to my heart, and having directly supported some of our team members’ families, we wanted to raise as much money as we could for such an important cause.

The day brought many challenges but was a lot of fun, who knew there was two 5's in a day.
Mike Ashurst

The Big Day

So, on September 1st 2023, up at 5 am, myself, Jay, Tom, Mike & Joe, along with our extremely dedicated cameraman Scott, started our journey up Ingleborough. With the taxi service and on-call emergency support team of Andy, Jo and Nick, we had everything covered for the day.

I'm not going to lie, the first climb was TOUGH, and I was thinking at one point "What the f*ck have I signed up for" We couldn't see as far as 1 metre in front of us due to all the fog, and the lack of sleep and questionable pub food from the night before was already taking its toll. But, albeit a rough start, we summited Ingleborough way ahead of our timing target.

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At Ingleborough Summit

Going downhill, ah isn't it lush... but not for long, as we now had to tackle Pen-y-Ghent. We met our support car on the way to the next climb, for a quick loo break and a couple of choccy bars but with the weather against us, we were keen to keep moving as we were setting a good pace.

Pen-y-Ghent is the smaller of the 3 Peaks but the steepest that's for sure! This was definitely a toughie, I had to get my bloomin' poles out! We were all really starting to feel it at this summit, and I think you can tell by our faces 😂

Yorkshire Three Peaks 2

At Pen-y-Ghent Summit

We were now over halfway through the challenge, time for a spot of lunch, finally. The walk from Pen-y-Ghent to Whernside felt like a lifetime, with endless fields and I think we were getting slightly sick of each other now as conversations seemed to turn to "When will this END" (Jokes, we all love eachother really) 

On our last Peak, we were joined by the rest of the Team for some moral support to complete the big challenge. We were keen to hit the sub-10-hour mark on completion so kept the pace going, we'd like to say the views were lovely but unfortunately, still, we couldn't see a thing. Thanks, Yorkshire. 

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At Whernside Summit

And just like that, WE DID IT! 

Time: 10hr 2min (we're still mad about this)
Distance: 24.98mi (40.2km)
Elevation: 5,295ft (1,614m)

It might have sounded like it was awful, but it was a wonderful day with wonderful company, albeit a physically and mentally challenging one. Our bodies definitely felt it for weeks after,  with stiff knees, sore calves, and a few lost toenails, but all for a good cause.

The hike wasn't just a physical journey — it was a testament to the incredible impact that a group of mates can have when they come together for a cause greater than themselves. We managed to raise over £1,500 for The Christie and we just wanted to say a BIG thank you to everyone who donated, family, friends, and clients alike - it means a lot ❤️  

Next challenge... National Three Peaks? 👀 Nah, we’re joking... or are we? 👀

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The team put in blood sweat and tears (of joy at the finish line) to complete the challenge. It was a great laugh with a class team. Would i do it again? Hell yeah! We raised a lot of money for a great cause
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Joe Buckley

What did we take from the day?

Jam sarnies are crackin'
Don't buy cheap walking shoes
Don't take your toe nails for granted
Keep drinking, always
We can enjoy each others company for 10 hours straight
Just push through the pain 🥹
Do we sound like your cup of tea?

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Hiya, I'm Ella. Brand designer and serial burrito consumer at MadeByShape.