Kings School Chester Cadets bag Three Peaks and raise over £1200 for the Royal British Legion


By Major Michael Lee, Contingent Commander, Kings School Chester CCF

On a Saturday morning after an 0500hrs start 13 cadets headed to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the traditional start of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (Y3P). As we drove the heavens opened and intimidating rain threatened a really tough day. By 0720hrs the cadets were clad head to toe in Gore-Tex and started their ascent towards Pen-y-Ghent at a rapid pace.

After bagging the first peak of 2,276ft we started a long descent to our first checkpoint at the iconic Ribblehead viaduct. With water bottles replenished, hot drinks inside us and a brief rest we set off again as the sun came out.

The steady and beautiful ascent of Whernside provided much in the way of distractions as we passed railways, waterfalls, and the break in the clouds illuminated our goal. Whernside plateau gave respite to tired legs and we stopped for a carefully timed 15 minute lunch break at the 2,415ft summit. With cadets in remarkable spirits and with Ingleborough visible in the distance we set off once again.  

Unfortunately the weather closed in once more and a downpour interrupted the long descent as we scrabbled to get waterproofs on before we were drenched! The technical descent proved punishing on tired thighs and with many other challengers descending alongside us, group-management and staying alert was critical. We finally made it to our second checkpoint around 1500hrs for another replen and rest before starting the final peak.

Ingleborough proved to be the toughest of the Three Peaks due to the brutal steep section before the final push to the summit. A brief moment of phone signal allowed the group to find out that we’d broken through our fundraising target of £1,200; the added motivation from this buoyed spirits and we soon summited the last hill at 2,372ft.

Having ascended over 5000ft the route had a sting its tail with a long, torturous descent back to the start. This forced cadets to dig-deep and draw on their inner strength to complete the final miles. As we approached the minibus our support team ran to meet us and encourage us to close the last 300m on the road within the next two minutes to bring us home in under 12 hours. The final mad dash to the end was a really exciting way to end what had been a fantastic challenge.

The journey back to the accommodation was full of songs, tall tales (which already showed hints of exaggeration) and the occasional snore. Generous sponsorship for the walk has raised over £1200 for the Royal British Legion and the cadets are really proud to have contributed towards the work of this worthy charity.

For more information about the Combined Cadet Forces and how you can get involved, either with your school or as an Adult Volunteer, visit

Reserve Forces