3 Peaks Challenge
Ben Nevis, Scotland
Scafell Pike, England
ABOUT THIS HIKE
Grading Level - T3 (click HERE to find out more about our grading)
Best months to go: May - September
The Three Peaks Challenge is an attempt to climb the highest peaks in the United Kingdom - Scotland, England and Wales in ‘one go’. These peaks are Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Snowdon in Wales.
We travel to Fort William on the Wednesday, starting with Ben Nevis on the Thursday morning, climb Scafell Pike that night and finish Snowdon on Friday in Wales. This is a tough event and people participating should have the necessary fitness and be prepared to do without sleep! If your aim is to complete the event in 24 hours then we will need to complete Ben Nevis in 5½ hours, Scafell Pike in 4½ hours and Snowdon in 4 hours. The standard for measuring your official total time on the event is mountain time plus a fixed 10 hour drive time. The challenge is supported by qualified mountain leaders and a driver will be with you all of the way. We’ll do everything we can to get you through the challenge as quickly as possible.
Over the course of 24 hours, you will trek around 26 miles and ascend to a total height of almost 3,000m. This is a serious and tough challenge which requires a good level of fitness, as well as plenty of grit and determination. Ultimately, however, your hard work will be rewarded with spectacular views and a huge sense of achievement.
This challenge is famously attempted within a 24 hour period.
The clock will start when you begin the trek on Ben Nevis, to when you then reach the summit of Snowdon.
However, it is important that whilst we shall attempt to facilitate you completed the challenge in this way there are a number of factors that often impact upon this timing.
The ability of the group.
We want all participants to complete the challenge, and have a great time doing this. So we run this challenge as a 'group challenge' and we encourage you all to help and support each other to complete the challenge together.
The traffic on the roads.
We will never ask our drivers to drive in an unsafe fashion, or to drive without the necessary rest periods.
Obeying the law!
Driver's hour regulations stipulate that drivers may only drive for15 hours, and must take a 45 minute break every 4.5 hours.
This will always be our number one priority, and we ask you to always respect any decisions our leaders make regarding group management during the challenge
Please Note: We do not guarantee completing this challenge in 24 hours. We believe that running the event in this manner is more responsible to the environments and local communities we pass through. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group, or other unforeseen circumstances. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that may occur. In all such circumstances though, your challenge leader will have the final say.
The day begins at 10.30am as the group finally meets at Glasgow Airport. Following a warm welcome, we head off by road to Fort William in Scotland. We will stop off in a local Scottish Highland town where you will have the opportunity to look around, before we check-in to our hotel in Fort William, right at the base of Ben Nevis. We will conduct the challenge safety and then it will be time to turn in for the night ahead of tomorrow’s early start for our big adventure.
DAY 2: Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike
It’s a super early start (5am), as we head off to tackle the first of the three peaks. Standing at the western end of the Grampian Mountains, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles and is formed from the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano.
The trail up to the summit begins on the eastern side of Glen Nevis, from where we follow a steep path up to the saddle of Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe (570m).
From here we then begin a zigzag ascent up the western flank of Ben Nevis to the summit.
There are only ten miles to cover, but they will be challenging and will take some six hours to do.
Be sure to stay mindful and aware at all times as the path is uneven and slippery in parts. The pay-off at the top is immense.
On a clear day, the views can stretch for 120 miles across the Torridon Hills, Ben Lomond and out towards County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
The group will transfer by vehicle southwards towards Wasdale in the Lake District. Dinner will be served before we transfer to Wasdale Head for our ascent of Scafell Pike (978m).
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England and consists of a steep ascent involving some easy scrambling in places.
We will descend in darkness before trying to catch some sleep on the drive to Snowdonia.
DAY 3: Snowdon
Hopefully you will have had time to recharge for another early start. Time is at a premium, however, as the final peak still awaits us. Driving on to Pen y Pass at the high end of the Lanberis Pass, we follow a rocky trail along the Pyg Track to the top of Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Teamwork and determination are all important as we forge our way onwards and upwards to conquer this final challenge. Snowdon and its surrounding peaks have been described as true examples of alpine typography and from our elevated viewpoint you can take in the surrounding lakes and cwms and, weather permitting, some of the most extensive views in the British Isles. On a clear day you can see four kingdoms, 24 counties, 29 lakes and 17 islands! Resting at the top for some group photos and impromptu celebrations, we head back to our vehicle for the drive home.
On the first day of the challenge, the group will set out very early in the morning (approx. 5am) to climb Ben Nevis. It usually takes between 6-7 hours walking for each mountain.
All participants must return to the buses and be ready to leave from Glen Nevis by 1pm.
After Ben Nevis we will drive to Scafell Pike, stopping for dinner and our drivers mandatory stop. We will arrive in time to begin our summit bid by early evening.
All participants must return to the buses and be ready to leave from by midnight.
After descending back down from Scafell you will then have the opportunity to try and catch some sleep as we drive to Snowdon to begin our ascent by mid-morning.
Please note, that whilst we do everything to stick to these timings, the National 3 Peaks timings can be very difficult to guarantee. Slow moving groups or traffic can have significant timings. In particular, please take this into account when planning your return journey at the end of the challenge.
For more information regarding private groups
Please contact us below!