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The Three Peaks Challenge

The Three Peaks Challenge is a hiking challenge in which you summit the highest peaks in Scotland, Wales and England, in 24 hours

The Three Peaks is a challenging hike in the UK, in which you have to summit Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) and Snowdon (Wales), and ideally you have to complete all three inside 24 hours.

The hikes

Typically you undertake this challenge in the summer.  People usually start with Ben Nevis, setting off at around 18:00, and getting back to base around 23:00 just as the light is finally fading.

Then it's a night drive to the base of Scafell Pike.  You will likely need a dedicated driver to make this journey whie you sleep.  If you're lucky, they will also have prepared some hot food for you to eat before you fall asleep.  You should arrive there around 06:00.  Climbing Scafell Pike takes a couple of hours, and the idea is to be back down around 10:00.

Next is a four hour drive to the foot of Mount Snowdon, so you'll arrive there at around 14:00.  This gives you four hours to get up Snowdon and back down again if you are to complete the Three Peaks Challenge inside 24 hours.

None of the mountains are particularly challenging to summit - they are all hikes with some broken ground and a few steep sections.  However, it's the fact that you have to complete the whole thing in 24 hours (and not much sleep) which makes it really exciting.  It's a great bonding experience when you do it as a team.

The gear

In terms of gear, you will need typical hiking gear and also proection against the elements - the weather can change very quickly even in the mountains in the UK, so you need to treat all three peaks with respect.  Here is a typical inventory:

- Walking boots

- Walking trousers

- Layers for your top half

- Waterproof layers for top and bottom

- Warm hat

- Gloves

- Rucksack

- First aid kit

- Emergency whistle

- Foil

- Energy bars

- Drinks

- Map and compass (you are strongly recommended to be able to navigate by map and compass in poor visibility, especially at the top of Ben Bevis where there is a dangerous drop quite near the summit)

- Sun cream

- Head torch

- Walking poles (optional, but great for stability and taking some load off your legs)

Author: Joe Goldring