What is the Three Peaks Chal­lenge?

Trail (UK) - - KNOW HOW -

QI’ve heard lots about the Three Peaks Chal­lenge, but what is it? Irene Spall, Ke­nil­worth

Trail says

The typ­i­cal Three Peaks Chal­lenge is an at­tempt to climb the high­est peaks of Scot­land, Eng­land and Wales – Ben Ne­vis, Scafell Pike and Snow­don re­spec­tively – in the space of 24 hours. It’s of­ten run as an or­gan­ised char­ity event, and also reg­u­larly tack­led by in­de­pen­dent groups, at any time of year.

The Chal­lenge can raise large amounts of money for char­ity, and also gives many oth­er­wise non-hill­walk­ers their first taste of the moun­tains.

How­ever, it’s not with­out its de­trac­tors. Due to the dis­tance be­tween each moun­tain, it’s re­garded by some as a driv­ing chal­lenge as much as anything. Or­gan­ised char­ity groups usu­ally have trans­port pro­vided, while in­de­pen­dent groups will have to rope some­body into chauf­feur­ing, as the task of walk­ing up the three peaks and driv­ing be­tween is a big task and, as fa­tigue sets in, far from safe.

Lit­ter­ing is an­other prob­lem that Three Peaks groups are of­ten ac­cused of. As is of­ten the case wher­ever large num­bers of peo­ple are in­volved, the few spoil it for the many and crowd­ing and nui­sance park­ing in small moun­tain com­mu­ni­ties has be­come a prob­lem on pop­u­lar routes.

But per­haps the big­gest draw­back is that it’s just not the best way to en­joy th­ese moun­tains. Par­tic­i­pants are rushed, of­ten ex­hausted and much of their jour­ney will be in the dark. Ben Ne­vis, Scafell Pike and Snow­don are best en­joyed in­di­vid­u­ally and at a leisurely pace: a day each, for in­stance. So, if you want to take on the Three Peaks for char­ity or sim­ply the chal­lenge, do it – but re­spect­fully. If you want to see the moun­tains at their best, there is a bet­ter way. You can still pick up a copy of The com­plete guide to the 3 Peaks, priced at £6.99 at www.great­magazines. co.uk/trail-spe­cials

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