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Chris Hill taking part in last year's Keswick to Barrow fundraising walk
Caption: Chris Hill taking part in last year's Keswick to Barrow fundraising walk

I recently read Alfred Wainwright's “Coast to Coast” walk. In it he states, “One should always have a definite objective in a walk, as in life it is so much more satisfying to reach a target by personal effort than to wander aimlessly. An objective is an ambition, and life without ambition is... well, aimless wandering."

You can relate this statement to so many different aspects of life, however, I immediately associated it with financial planning and how identifying an individual’s goals is the most important component of any financial plan. When determining life goals, many will look towards longer-term aspirations such as retiring early or buying that dream holiday home. Others will look more at shorter-term goals such as saving for a child's wedding or university fees.

I will soon be (hopefully) achieving a personal goal of my own and completing the Yorkshire 'three peaks' challenge. On 13th May, some of my colleagues and I will be taking on the peaks of Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough as part of our company fundraising efforts for Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool. That’s approximately 24 miles with around 2100 metres of ascent - all in under 12 hours. Being a keen fell walker, this is an event I have always wanted to do and although I have summited each of these mountains a number of times previously (Whernside being a personal favourite), I have never taken on all three together.

Over the last few weeks, the team has had the opportunity to complete a few training walks in preparation for the challenge. Fortunately, most of the walks have been in good weather, some in glorious sunshine and we have been lucky enough to enjoy some spectacular views from the mountains around the Langdale valley. The latest of our preparation walks on Sunday, however, showed us how, as in life, we must be prepared to adapt our plans. After a week of wall to wall sunshine and temperatures of 20 degrees, that morning we were met with grey skies, low cloud, rain and falling temperatures.

When we met at Kentmere Church, the rain had turned to snowfall and the cloud base had fallen further. We agreed that, in view of the size of our group and also the different levels of experience in tackling winter mountain conditions, we would change our plans and instead walk along the valley floor. While we did not complete our intended walk on that particular day, as a result of sensible planning, we all still had a very enjoyable morning. We all remain focused on the three peaks in just over four weeks’ time.

Although we will, of course, aim to complete the circuit in under the 12 hours, I believe it's more important to focus on the main objective of the day - raising money for a fantastic charity. I'm sure that Wainwright wouldn't mind if some take a little bit longer providing we all make it back to the bottom safely, and everybody enjoys their day out in the fells.

If you would like to support us and Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool, you can do so securely online via our JustGiving page. We are grateful for all donations, no matter how big or small!

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