If you haven’t done it already, let the National Three Peaks challenge be the next achievement in your list of hillwalking accolades. I mean, what better excuse to raise some money for charity whilst keeping fit?
The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the highest peak of each country in the British Isles; Ben Nevis (Scotland, 1345m), Scafell Pike (England, 978m) and Snowdon (Wales, 1085m) are all ascended (usually in that order). Easy, right? How about doing all three of them in 24 hours?
Whilst all of the walking is technically straightforward, the name of this game is being able to keep going for a fairly long distance, with minimal sleep and around 13 hours of walking. The total distance for all peaks combined involves 37km and 3064 metres of ascent.
Starting in Fort William to climb the Ben, the main crux of this challenge is driving the 462 miles down Britain to reach each peak. This is especially relevant if you don’t hire a dedicated driver and just plan on splitting the driving between you and your mates. We must add, this isn’t recommended by the official Three Peaks Challenge website, but is how we completed the challenge ourselves and we understand you may be on a budget.
On top of the eleven hours of driving you’ll have to do, use the following timings for each peak to pace yourself and your group during the day.
Ben Nevis – 5 hours.
Scafell Pike – 4 hours.
Snowdon – 4 hours.
Total: 13 hours walking time, plus 11 hours driving = 24 hours.
It’s a good idea to head out and climb whichever peak is closest to you for a little training mission. This will give you an idea of your fitness level and allows you to hone in your equipment choice for the big day.