Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen reveals terrifying Three Peaks ordeal

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Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen has told of her terrifying Three Peaks ordeal after she became lost on a Pennines summit at night in freezing weather.

Personal trainer Chloe, 22, who will represent Yorkshire in Miss England on May 16-17, had to be picked up by Mountain Rescue after straying six miles from her route.

She had been climbing the gruelling 24-mile challenge across the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with fellow Miss England finalist Lisa Ellis, 27, when they got in trouble on the final peak

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Chloe, from Harrogate, said: “It was pitch black at the top and we were terrified we would fall down one of the steep slopes. We were so grateful to get down in one piece.

Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen before she got in trouble on Three Peaks challengeMiss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen before she got in trouble on Three Peaks challenge
Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen before she got in trouble on Three Peaks challenge

“We got lost and it meant that we were on top of Ingleborough at night. The batteries on our phones had died and we had no back up map and compass to guide us.

“We could have fallen at any point and we feel very lucky to have climbed down safely.

“Lisa rang 999 from the top because she was so scared and they scrambled Mountain Rescue to find us.

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“They were looking for us for a few hours but thankfully we were able to navigate down safely and we were picked up by Mountain Rescue at a farm near Clapham when we were able to contact them with our phones charged.”

Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwenMiss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen
Miss Yorkshire Chloe McEwen

Chloe thanked Mountain Rescue for their help and warned other climbers to be careful on the punishing trek.

She said: “We are both physically fit and had packed food and warm clothing. Our mistake was to set off too late at 9am which meant that we did not get to the final peak until nightfall.

“We were determined to finish the trek for the charities that we were supporting but we should have turned back or had an expert guide to show us the way.

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“When our phones were about to die at the top, Lisa felt the safest option was to call the emergency services but we really didn’t want the challenge to end.

“We did think about bedding down on the top but it was bitterly cold and we were worried that we might suffer from hypothermia.

“Thankfully we found a safe route down by using our torches and we were so relieved when we got to the farmhouse where we were picked up by Mountain Rescue. It was six miles from the route we should have taken because we had got lost in the dark.

“I am very grateful to the emergency services for their help and I would urge anyone attempting the Three Peaks to make sure they have an experienced walker with them, head home if the weather deteriorates and don’t climb after dark.

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“We were pleased that we were both able to raise lots of money for our charities.

“I learnt a lot along the way, too. I know that with a positive attitude, inner faith, gratitude and courage you can overcome your greatest fears and challenges.”

Chloe raised £1,712 for the charity Mind in Harrogate who she volunteers for after her previous struggles with a bipolar condition which saw her being sectioned in a psychiatric hospital.

She said: “I love working with Mind and have found my purpose helping and inspiring those struggling with mental health.”

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Chloe is one of 40 contestants competing in Miss England final at the Grand Station in Wolverhampton on May 16-17. The winner will qualify for Miss World later this year.

Miss England has been transformed in recent years and contestants have to show they are making a difference to other people’s lives - so it is not just all about beauty.

That is why Chloe’s charity fund raising is so important.

She is holding a second funding raising event for Balls To Cancer, Miss England’s designated charity, by running 50km and holding a raffle and other events at the Manor House care home in Harrogate on May 10.

Chloe was just 16 when she had a breakdown. Fitness and mindfulness including meditation and a healthy lifestyle have helped her turn her life around and, following her recovery, she has embarked on a successful career as a Level 3 personal trainer.

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She has been supported in her Miss England campaign by Out As Humans, the live on-demand show created by entrepreneur Gerardo Segat which aims to humanise authentic leaders.

Chloe is working with Segat to create her own show to help people struggling with their mental health.

Segat said: “Chloe represents our values of authenticity and humanity and we would be delighted to create an Out As Humans show for her to inspire leaders around the world.”

* To vote for Chloe McEwen in Miss England, sponsored by Watermans Hair, download the Miss England app.

* You can support Chloe’s charity funding raising on her Just Giving page.

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