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Three Peaks conquest

Teamwork at Allen Gears took a vigorously upward direction recently when five engineers successfully tackled the combined might of three of Yorkshire's most challenging mountains - within just 12 hours.

Organiser Stuart Evans and colleagues Stephen Ford, Nick Bates, Andrew Jackson and Darren Pepper pitted their fitness and wits against Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in a bid to attain the Yorkshire Three Peaks standard, which means completing a 40km circuit inside 12 hours.

A combination of the highest mountains in Yorkshire, difficult going underfoot, a total ascent of around 1700m and unpredictable upland weather all adds to the challenge.

"We started from Horton-in-Ribblesdale at 6am and reached the top of Penyghent by 7-30am, so we had a great start," reports Stuart.

"Then it's a long way to Whernside but we made that in excellent time. But on the climb up Ingleborough it started to tell. We topped that at 3-30pm and we knew it would be a real slog to get back down to Horton in time. But we did it, in 11hrs 15mins, and it proved to be a tremendous team effort all round."

Their success brings them honorary Three Peaks Club membership - and gives them plentiful incentive for the next energetic event in the ascent of Allen Gears' informal 'walking club', the 24 Peaks Challenge in England's Lake District next spring.

"We aim to get plenty of mountain training in beforehand," adds Stuart. "Gym training alone isn't enough - you can't match real time on the mountains."

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