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Walking, Hiking & Trail Running

Three Peaks Challenge | Hiker Drew Collins First to Walk Full 404-Miles From Ben Nevis to Scafell Pike and Snowdon

The 30-year-old took annual leave from his full-time job to complete the walk in 24 days

Drew Collins, 30, is the first to walk the entire Three Peaks Challenge. Photo: FUEL10k

30-year-old photographer Drew Collins has just become the first person to walk the entire length of the Three Peaks Challenge – hiking between the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, summiting each as he went.

Starting at Ben Nevis in Fort William, Scotland, Drew made his way down from the north, passed through the Lake District and Scafell Pike before finishing in Wales, where he ended his 24-day trek at the foot of Snowdon. The total length of the trip was 403.56 miles.

“I knew it would be a difficult challenge to tackle, but it was so much harder than I thought it would be,” said Drew, who is from Essex but works full-time in London and made the climb with support from Fitbit and Fuel10K.

“Mountains have been climbed. Most trails have been hiked. I craved to do something bold yet unique. Wild Peaks Walk was the answer to that craving.”

The ‘Wild Peaks Walk’ was an extreme take on the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’, one of the most famous and popular hiking tests in the UK.

Drew started at Ben Nevis before heading down the country… Photo: Getty

The usual challenge sees hikers attempt to summit Ben Nevis (1345m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1085m) in one day, with the luxury of a car to drive them to the foot of each mountain before they then proceed to climb to the top.

Replacing the drive in-between with a hike was always going to be an ambitious project to say the least, but Collins said that he “wanted to show that anybody with a full-time job and commitments can do something extraordinary, even if it means using all your annual leave in one wallop.”

Still, Drew admits that it wasn’t easy at times (as you can imagine). He even managed to get himself chased by a bull.

“I picked up a few injuries along the way and hit a few mental barriers, which really tested my will and strength to continue,” said the photographer.

Scafell Pike was the middle stop for Collins. Photo: Getty

“The mental aspect of the walk was undoubtedly the hardest part; it’s very easy to just stare at your feet as each foot passes the other and forget to take in the beautiful surrounding landscapes.

“I had a few near misses including being chased by a particularly angry bull, but overall music played a huge part in keeping me motivated along the way.

“Ultimately, I found the energy reserves to push on. I continued through the physical and mental pain, which helped me see what is truly possible.”

The ever-stunning Snowdonia National Park, the final stop on Collin’s 3 Peaks Challenge. Photo: Getty

It’s hard to make The Three Peaks challenge sound easy (and trust us, it’s certainly not), but after the photographer’s accomplishment there might just need to be an update to the landmark hiking test on the British mainland.

Has Collins just set the precedent for something new? Who knows. He’s certainly laid down the gauntlet, and we’re betting that in the next few years there will be somebody else who fancies picking it up.

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