The Three Peaks Challenge
The 3 Peaks Challenge is a gritty undertaking and an impressive feat. It involves trekking to the summit of the highest mountain in Scotland (Ben Nevis), Wales (Snowdon) and England (Scafell Pike) in less than 24 hours. It’s a journey of nearly 10,000 feet of ascent and over 22 miles in distance. Because of the popularity of this event, people often underestimate the physical and mental demands they will experience over the 24 hours.
While you don’t need to be superhuman to complete this highly memorable challenge, a good level of fitness and some hill walking experience is required.
Please note that for this Challenge attending a Mountain Training Day prior to the event is compulsory. This allows us to safeguard our customers by assessing their fitness, their movement on rough terrain and teaching necessary skills. This establishes that a team has a fighting chance of completing the challenge together before allowing them to commit. For individuals with significant mountain experience and good fitness there is the opportunity to gain exemption by speaking to our Founder Nick Hollis.
Thank you and the team for an amazing 3 peaks challenge although the weather was not on our side team spirits were high, and the teams were great which for me made the challenge memorable and enjoyable.”
“Thank you for an amazing 3 peaks challenge weekend! Could not have done it without the brilliant optimism and support from your great guides!”
“Thank you Fitways for being such a great help during our Intern 3 Peaks challenge, not only knowledgeable and great at what you do but cared for our well-being, really helped us along…excellent effort to the interns but also utterly motivational…great to meet you all!”
“What a phenomenal weekend! Expertly handled with a ceaseless positive attitude. Impossible to thank the Fitways guides enough.”
Average walking time:
12 hrs (fast & slow options)
Max team size:
11 (Minibus) or 40 (Coach)
16 – 18 Aug 2019 (Chester)
30 Aug – 01 Sep (Chester)
The 3 Peaks challenge isn’t for the faint-hearted, but with a reasonable level of fitness and some training, can be achieved by anyone who’s determined enough.
Note – If you have a team of 10 or more people and would like us to run this event on a non-listed date, please get in touch and we will make every effort to accommodate you.
Ben Nevis (1344m)
10.5 Miles & 1352 metres of ascent
At 1344 metres, Ben Nevis is the highest of the 3 Peaks. The quickest route to the summit is the Pony Track which starts at Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. If we’re lucky with the weather, you will enjoy some fabulous views of the Scottish Highlands and there’s a good chance you’ll be trekking through snow to the summit.
Scafell Pike (978m)
6 Miles & 989 metres of ascent
The shortest route up Scafell Pike starts at Wasdale Head. The summit of Scafell Pike is incredibly barren – often described as being like the surface of the moon. When the weather comes in it’s very easy to become disorientated, but don’t worry your Mountain Leaders will keep you on track.
7 Miles & 723 metres of ascent
There are several paths you can take to the summit of Snowdon, but most people agree that the Pyg Track is the quickest, and will be the route we’ll take during the challenge. Incredibly there’s a café on the summit, but unfortunately we won’t have time to hang around.
- Logistics (Dedicated vehicle & driver/s)
- 1 night hostel accommodation before the event (shared)
- Breakfast on morning of challenge (Continental)
- Water during challenge
- 2 Qualified Mountain Leaders (First aid qualified)
- Maximum client to leader ratio of 6
- Pick up from Chester or Glasgow Fort (See Travel)
- Comfortable vehicle with standing headroom
- Drop off at Chester after the Challenge finishes
- Safety Equipment (carried by our Mountain Leaders)
- Head torches and trekking poles
- 24 hour support from our Mountain Leader team
- Training advice from a qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist
- Completion certificate
- Cotswold Outdoors 15% Discount Voucher
What’s not included:
- Food & Drink
- Travel to Chester (Start point)
- Pick up from alternative locations other than those specified – call for prices.
- Upgraded accommodation & dinner before the event
Why join an organised event?
Can’t I just do it on my own? Yes you can, however you should only attempt this challenge independently if you have the necessary mountain skills and a well-briefed support team to ensure your team’s welfare during the event. Bear in mind that to complete the challenge within the magical 24 hour time limit you will almost certainly be trekking in darkness (and of course with the high probability of bad weather), which can make navigation extremely challenging – especially on the barren summit of Scafell Pike. Logistics are another factor to consider. To attempt the 3 Peaks Challenge without a dedicated driver/s is extremely dangerous and certainly not recommended for a successful challenge attempt.
If you don’t have the necessary experience and support, using our expertise to manage your event is an excellent choice. Our fully qualified Mountain Leaders will ensure your safety on the mountains and our logistics partner will transport you between the hills while you rest and recuperate.
Travel & Logistics
Because we will be starting the challenge on Ben Nevis, you have the option of being picked up from Glasgow International Airport, or alternatively en route between Chester (Chester Train Station) and Fort William (M6, M72, A82). At the end of the Challenge, we can drop you off at Chester Train Station. If this is not convenient for yourself or your group, please get in touch and we’ll discuss alternative options.
Note: For large teams travelling by coach, the Challenge will start and finish in Maidenhead area. The participants will be shuttled the final 8 miles to Scafell Pike via minibus due to narrow roads.
Note: You can save money on rail travel by booking your tickets in advance using www.thetrainline.com. If booking fixed tickets, we recommend that you leave plenty of time in case of delays – either during the Challenge, or on the journey back.
Mountain Training Days
The National 3 Peaks Challenge should never be underestimated, even your guides will be shattered by the end! Simply turning up on the day with a pair of brand new boots and a ‘hope for the best’ attitude is unlikely to end well. There is a saying in mountaineering that the best way to prepare for climbing a mountain is to climb a mountain. While training in a gym, or going for long walks on the flat is good for developing base fitness, there is no replacement for spending several hours on terrain similar to what you will encounter during an event. The benefits of attending a mountain training day can be seen below:
- You will quickly learn if the 3 Peaks is the challenge for you
- It will give you an opportunity to assess your current fitness level
- The perfect opportunity to test your equipment
- The optimum training to prepare for your event
- To spend mountain time with your team mates
- Meet your leaders and ask any questions
Fitways Adventures & The Environment
Consideration of the environment is at the heart of what we do at Fitways and we do everything within our power to minimise our impact upon it. This includes:
- Small group sizes
- Sticking to main paths
- Picking up litter – it is our policy to enhance any area we visit
- Minimising the use of plastics. Please bring reusable drinking bottles.
- Safe driving – keeping to all driving regulations and encouraging transport sharing
- Donation to Mountain Rescue on every 3 Peaks Challenge
- We aim to complete Scafell before midnight (in consideration of nearby residents)
- Obeying the Countryside Code. This is part of our team briefing.
- Offering group transit to the event (For groups of 40 using coaches)
Nutrition For The Trip
Whilst sandwiches and the like are fine for consumption on the ground in between hikes, when you are on the mountain and in need of an energy boost it is vital to have the right kind of snacks to hand to see you through the challenge. From experience, you’ll feel much better if you eat healthy foods during your challenge rather than fuelling yourself with junk food and too much sugar. During the Challenge, we’ll be stopping at service stations so you’ll have the opportunity to buy food on the journey to Scotland and when travelling between Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. There won’t be any option to purchase food between Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
Below is a list of ideas for high energy snacks to take with you during a hike:
- Nuts (ideally not salted variety)
- Dried fruit
- Cereal bars
- Sweets (Jelly Babies are great if you need a boost)
- Energy drinks (i.e. Lucozade) but don’t overdo it
- Caffeine just before last mountain works well (i.e. Red Bull)
Equipment List (Essential items)
- Warm Hat (covering ears)
- Warm top (2nd fleece would be ideal)
- Quality Waterproofs (Jacket & Trousers)
- Backpack (30 – 40 Litres) Do ensure your equipment is in a waterproof bag
- Mobile phone (in waterproof case)
- Blister plasters (suggest Compeed)
- Personal First Aid kit (Your Leader will carry a Master First Aid kit)
- Water Bottle (1.5-2 Litres)
- Optional: Camera
- Optional: GPS
- Optional: Walking poles
- Head Torch & Spare Batteries
- Optional: Map and Compass
- Optional: Pillow/eye mask/earplugs (Highly Recommended)
- Overnight bag (keep it small)
- Towel (for the hostel)
Clothing to be worn on the hill
- Walking boots & socks (MUST be boots)
- Walking trousers – no jeans
- Base Layer (T-shirt or long-sleeved top – not cotton)
- Sports top or fleece (not cotton)
- Windproof jacket
Stuff to leave in the vehicle
- Change of clothes (Important if it’s wet!)
- Change of socks and base layer for each mountain
Ben Nevis: Ben Nevis & Fort Williams OS Explorer 392
Snowdon: Snowdon OL 17 OS Explorer Map
Scafell Pike: OS Explorer OL 6 map The English Lakes