It all began when Dean Lynch had the seed of an idea when discussing potential fundraising activities that the Manchester Level Club could undertake during the COVID-19 lockdown; the idea quickly gained traction and a charity was chosen
It was decided that Manchester Level Club (MLC) supported by Manchester Masons would complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in Aid of St Ann’s Hospice based in Manchester with an initial fundraising target of £2,500
Fast forward to a brisk 6am Saturday morning in August 2020 when a group of Manchester Freemasons and guests checked the validity of their passports and made their way across the border to a campsite in the picturesque village of Horton in Ribblesdale, just within the Yorkshire Dales.
The group was made up of Manchester Freemasons and a few non-masonic guests who would also take part. The group was also privileged to have in attendance Mark Davis (APGM for the Manchester District), and Paul O’Carroll (Manchester Derby District Chairman) who had also agreed to take on the challenge in a true display of leadership.
The walk was planned out by expert guide Chris Ainsley from Optimal Adventures. Chris is a former Royal Marine Commando who organises many adventure expeditions, so, in theory, the walk was going to be a piece of cake.
Once all of the walkers had completed the necessary registration paperwork, it was time for the briefing which was delivered by the expert guide Chris Ainsley from Optimal Adventures.
The briefing concluded and the group proceeded to take on the 27-mile walk in blazing hot conditions - all wearing heavy backpacks! The first ascent the team were to tackle was Pen-Y-Ghent, the lowest of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks at 2,277 feet but no less of a climb.
After conquering the first summit there were celebrations, however, there were two bigger peaks to climb ahead of them. Next, the group began the slog to get to the top of the second peak, called Whernside. Whilst Whernside is not a steep climb, it is a long and arduous eight mile uphill slog.
With two peaks down and one to go the team wearily made their way to final checkpoint. The realisation hit that there was still one more peak to overcome. Final plans were made and it was then time to complete the last of the Y3P Challenge.
Naturally, there was a celebration on the final summit, Ingleborough had been conquered. Finally, one by one they made it back to the campsite where Manchester Freemasons had provided a barbeque and beer feast for the bedraggled walkers.
The walk had attracted donations of over £7,000, not including Gift Aid, so a cheque was presented to the CEO of Saint Ann's Hospice Eamonn O'Neal who is also the current High Sherrif of Manchester.
Manchester Level Club continues with its extensive charity work and are currently running a charity auction for a local children's charity.