3 Peaks Challenge at Mountain Warehouse
What is The 3 Peaks Challenge?
The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon)
During the challenge participants will walk approximately 23 miles and drive around 460 miles between the peaks.
Walkers will often attempt to complete the three peaks challenge in 24 hours, which requires an overnight drive between Snowdon and Scafell pike.
Height: 1345 m
Location: Lochaber, Scottish Highlands
Ben Nevis is the highest Mountain on the British Isles and the most common place to start the three peaks challenge. Unlike the other 2 mountains the climb up Ben Nevis starts at sea level, giving it a large vertical ascent. The majority of climbers will follow the Ben Nevis ‘pony track’ to reach the summit. The nearest town is Fort William where walkers will find a train station and Mountain Warehouse Store.
Height: 978 m
Location: Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England
Scafell pike is the highest peak in England but the smallest in the three peaks challenge. The summit allows spectacular views and on a clear day walkers are able to see Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland! The mountain itself is fairly remote within the Lake District but nearby towns include Keswick and Windemere.
Height: 1085 m
Location: Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd, Wales
Snowdon is the highest peak in the UK outside the Scottish highlands and is usually the last to be conquered on the challenge. The climb at Snowdon starts at 370m so although the mountain is higher, the overall climb to the summit is smaller than Scafell Pike. Walkers will usually take either the Miners or Pyg track but if you’re really tired, you could use the mountain railway to reach the summit!
Yorkshire 3 Peaks
Another popular challenge is the Yorkshire three peaks challenge. This involves climbing Pen-y-Ghent (694 meters), Whernside (736 Meters) and Ingleborough (723 Meters) in the Yorkshire Dales National park. This challenge is often attempted in 12 hours and is ideal for anyone who is put off by the large amount of driving involved in the national three peaks challenge.
3 Peaks Cycle Challenge
The three peaks challenge can also be completed on a bike. This follows the same principle as the main challenge but participants will attempt to cycle between the three peaks rather than drive. For all your cycling needs check out the Mountain Warehouse Range.
3 Peaks Route
Here we will outline the most common route, starting at Ben Nevis and finishing at Snowdon. The total drive is 464 miles and without traffic can take just under 10 Hours. Most people who attempt the challenge will have a dedicated driver who doesn’t take part in the walks.
The most popular path at Ben Nevis is the ‘Pony Track’, which starts at either the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre or Hostel. These two starting points meet early on where you’ll then find a criss cross path to the summit. You can park at the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre (PH33 6ST) for £3 a day.
The drive from Ben Nevis to Scafell Pike will take around 5 hours 30 minutes. At Scafell pike the majority of walkers will start from the Wasdale car park (CA20 1EX). It’s important to remember car parks will often be full so be ready to be dropped off by your driver and begin your walk!
The drive from Scaffell Pike to Snowdon will take around 4 hours 30 minutes. Most walkers will start at the Pen y Pass car park (L55 4NY), where parking costs £10 for an all day ticket. There is a shuttle bus to the car park from nearby towns in the summer months, which can be very useful as car parks will get busy. If you need to get home via public transport the nearest station is Bangor.
3 Peaks Tips
Break in Your Walking Boots
The last thing you want on your challenge is blisters. Make sure you wear your walking boots on a few practice runs to help break them in.
Practice Your Navigation Skills
You won’t be able to rely on your phone for navigation on the peaks so ensure everyone in your group can read a map and use a compass.
Enlist a Dedicated Driver
After the long walks you won’t be alert enough to drive, so enlist a dedicated driver who can rest while you hike.
Let the Slowest Set the Pace
You’re only as fast as the slowest person in your group, so let them lead the way to prevent anyone getting left behind!
Never let your enthusiasm to complete the challenge take priority over safety. Stick to speed limits on the roads and turn back if conditions aren't safe