DO IT BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT!
If you have to cram mountain breaks into stolen weekends, you still have plenty of time to climb 8848 metres. Dedicate a couple of days a month and you’ll be well on your way. Altogether, these six ultimate mountain days will get you to 8848m…
SNOWDON VIA THE WATKIN
This route has the biggest height gain of all the major routes up Snowdon, and is surely one of the finest.
PLAN OS Explorer OL17 and Trail Routes via OS Maps online.
WALK 13.8km (8½ miles) for a loop up the Watkin Path, down the south-east ridge and taking in Y Aran. CLIMB 1379m STAY Red Dragon cottages, log cabin, camping pods or bunkroom 300m from the Watkin Path. www.reddragonholidays.co.uk
PEN Y FAN
The Brecon Beacons are known for their rolling terrain, but you can still gain some serious ascent on the Fans. PLAN OS Explorer OL12. WALK 17km (10½ miles) from the parking at SO024248, climb Pen y Fan, Cribyn and finally Fan y Big before looping back down Cefn Cyff. CLIMB 1023m STAY Old Crofftau converted barn at the foot of Allt Ddu – and walk from the back door www.breconcottages.com
AN ESKDALE BEAUTY
This could be the best of the Scafell Pike loops, enveloping the stunning Crinkle Crags and majestic Bowfell from Eskdale. PLAN OS Explorer OL6. WALK 13.5km (8½ miles) from Brotherilkeld on Hardknott Pass in a theatrical loop of Lakeland’s best. CLIMB 1683m STAY National Trust’s back to basics doll's house of a cottage, Bird How. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays
PEAK DISTRICT CLASSIC
Try this peaty epic onto Kinder Scout and gain a surprising amount of ascent.
PLAN OS Explorer OL1 and Trail Routes via OS Maps online.
WALK 23km (14¼ miles) from Castleton, up onto Rushup Edge, onto Brown Knoll and Edale Head, along the edge of Kinder Scout and down Grindsbrook. CLIMB 817m STAY Ye Olde Nags Head in Castleton. www.yeoldenagshead.co.uk
THE BEST WAY UP THE BEN
For all the ascent you can muster in a day, take in the awesome Carn Mor Dearg ridge for a thrilling ride up onto Ben Nevis.
PLAN OS Explorer 392 or Trail’s Route CMD Arête via OS Maps online.
WALK 16.7km (10½ miles) in a circular route up the exposed CMD Arête to the summit of Ben Nevis. CLIMB 1602m STAY Ben Nevis Inn and bunkhouse. www.ben-nevis-inn.co.uk
If you are really up for the challenge, tackle the enchanting Ennerdale skyline, taking in High Stile, High Crag, Haystacks, Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Pillar and Steeple. PLAN OS Explorer OL4. WALK 19km (11¾ miles) loop of the Ennerdale skyline. If needed, there are a variety of ways to shorten the route. CLIMB 2374m STAY at YHA Ennerdale – dorm or bag your own room. ww.yha.org.uk
TOTAL = 8878m
Trail subscribers can access Trail Routes online for free – see www.lfto.com/routes