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Getting Ready to Tackle The 3 Peaks Challenge

The 3 peaks challenge is well known for being a gruelling 24 hour challenge that involves getting up and back down the  three tallest peaks in the UK. The challenge not only includes the upís and downís but getting between them all and covering a vast distance of the UK in the process.

The only sensible way to take on this challenge is as a team; and a team that includes a designated driver is advised for getting between Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon in Wales but how do you prepare to take on the 3 peaks?  Hereís a few things to consider before taking on the challenge ahead.

Preparing Properly for the challenge.

The three peaks is not something to take on lightly and preparation is the key to completing it. Plan the routes you will take in between the peaks as well as the routes up and down the hills. If you donít plan it properly you will lose valuable time when you donít need to, causing you additional delays and frustration.

There are a number of ways to get between the hills so road maps are just as important as Ordnance survey maps

What Kit Will You Need For The Three Peaks?

This is a 24 hour challenge but you wonít be sleeping Ė not outside of the car anyway. Packs should be light and only take essentials with you. Plenty of water and sugary snacks will need to be kept with you. You might want to consider a walking pole but itís your walking shoes that will be a deciding factor on whether or not you will succeed. A small day pack is all you want to carry with you which will hold enough water for a single climb and of course your maps. A few other items to include are safety equipment such as aid kits and don't forget mobile phones, a torch and you never know when a whistle will come in use!
You will need to wrap up warm and give yourself options for layers but keep in mind which hills you are doing, and at what time you will be planning on doing them. You can switch your
hiking kit around and leave what you donít need in the car but make sure you still have the right kit with you at the right times Ė like a torch at night time.

How Long Will It Take To Complete?

You have 24 hours to complete the three peaks challenge but you need to break this time down and plan accordingly to give yourself the best chances. Here are some of the average times that will help you split the challenge and keep track of where you should be up to.

        ē  The driving part of the challenge is around 450 miles and takes about 10 hours in good traffic. That leaves you with 14 hours to get up and down.

         ē  For Scafell Pike the most taken path for the challenge starts at Wasdale Head and is 6.6 miles up and down.

         ē  Ben Nevis is the highest of the 3 peaks at just over 1300 metres and the path starting at Glen Nevis is 10.5 miles up and down.

         ē  The final peak is Snowdon and there are a number of paths to choose from. The most common being Pyg Track and Miner's Track. Pyg track is 7 miles up and down whereas the Miner's track is 8 miles but both are accepted routes to take.

So thereís around 24 miles of walking and 14 hours to do it in. On paper this sounds fairly straight forward but the biggest factor in succeeding is in the manner you prepare for the challenge.

There are a great number of risks that must be avoided, such as injury, exhaustion and of course getting lost but remember that one of these peaks will be done at a time where conditions are less than suitable.

While this is really just scratching the surface (and footwear would merit an article all to itself) this should hopefully get you thinking about what you might need to take into account before hiking around the Three Peaks. Be sure to do your research and donít forget to enjoy yourself while youíre at it!

 This article has been provided by Ė outdoor & country clothing retailers for the whole family, including manís best friend. They offer a range clothing and equipment that will make the 3 Peaks challenge a breeze!

Many thanks to the following sites for providing the images in this article