Not all ideas work out according to plan. Getting caught out on a big Himalayan mountain climb, trying to sleep on a ledge without a tent, is not easy. Colin and I would pass the time chatting about new challenges in the UK rather than traveling abroad.
“What would it be like” we asked ourselves “to go from the deepest to the highest point in England in a single 24 hour journey? Had it ever been done?”
Lizzie caving in Giant’s Hole, Derbyshire, Peak District
So when we came back to the UK the idea of Pot to Peak floated around and it would have remained just that had not a tricky thing happened that changed it from a thought to a plan.
I was phoned up by a journalist who had heard of the idea from a friend of a friend.
“So your going from this point underground traveling to climb Scafell Pike” he said
“Yes” I answered “It’s the highest point in England at 978 meters.” I thought that made me sound as though I knew what I was talking about.
Training, this time on the summit of Mam Tor Peak District
“And how are you going to get there from Giant’s Hole in Derbyshire?” he asked.
This was news to me. I imagined the deepest point must be somewhere in a Yorkshire cave making it easy to walk from there to the Lake District.
Robin training near Buxton in the Peak District for Pot to Peak
“It’s around 150 miles” he added. There was no doubt he was good with his facts. This was something else I’d no idea about. My imagination became white space which wasn’t at all helpful.
“Hmm.” there was a pause. “Ride” I said “we’re going to do it on bikes”
And which way will you go he asked “Over Snake Pass?”
He knew a lot more about this than I did
“Sounds good” I said.
Riding Snake pass on the Pot to Peak holiday
It turned out to be harder than I had imagined and needed three months of training for the ride.
We went from the deepest to the highest points in England in one 23hr journey.
Arriving at the Dudgeon Gill pub in the Langdale valley at the end of the ride we began the mountain climb with wobbly legs accompanied by a couple of members of the rescue team and a radio to be on the safe side. Summiting in a strange hallucinating state we radioed back to tell the support team.
An unfamiliar voice came through.
“Hello, Barrow mini cabs here, where do you want to go to!”
Support team on Pot to Peak, deepest to the higest
It obviously caught people’s imagination because others have since taken on the challenge and beaten our original time.
We also turned the event into a weeks multi activity holiday and others felt the same sense of accomplishment standing on the summit of Scafell Pike, but with considerably less pain.
Pot to Peak holiday on the summit of Snake Pass