National 3 Peaks 24-Hour Challenge

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Adventure Hosted by Simon

Simon - National 3 Peaks Guide
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UK, United Kingdom
2 nights (but 24hr challenge)
1 - 10 per group (multiple groups possible)
Hotel
Challenging

Adventure overview

Conquer Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales – all in under 24hrs

Day One:

  • 10:00 Pick up Birchwood, Warrington, if leaving a car (WA3 7PU)
  • 10:30 Pick up  Warrington Bank Quay Station
  • 15:00 Pick up Glasgow Central Station and/or Glasgow International Airport (if needed)
  • 15:30 Transfer to Hotel/B&B
  • 18:00 Arrive at hotel
  • 20:00 Challenge Briefing and Q&A session

Day Two:

  • 07:00 Breakfast
  • 08:00 Transfer to Ben Nevis start point
  • 08:15 Final preparation
  • 08:30 Start challenge (Ben Nevis)
  • 11:30 Summit Ben Nevis
  • 13:30 Transfer to Wasdale Head (includes a 45 minute driver rest stop. VOSA legal requirement)
  • 20:30 Begin Scafell Pike ascent
  • 23:00 Summit Scafell Pike

Day Three:

  • 01:00 Transfer to Pen y Pass
  • 05:30 Begin Snowdon ascent
  • 08:00 Summit Snowdon
  • 09:30 Complete challenge at Pen y Pass
  • 10:00 Transfer to drop off point
  • Drop-off is between 11:30 and 13:30 but timing cannot be guaranteed so you should be an open ticket if taking the train

 

It's time for a challenge!

The National Three Peaks Challenge just has to be the best-known mountain challenge in the UK. Climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales – all in under 24hrs.

Taking in 23 miles of total walking distance and a total ascent of 3,064m, you'll see the best of the Scottish Highlands,  Snowdonia National Park, and the Lake District making memories to last a lifetime.

There’ll be two members of staff per group on this trip - a driver and a guide. This will allow the driver to rest whilst you're climbing the peaks, so you’ll be as safe on the drive as you will be on the mountains.

The National Three Peaks in 24 Hours Challenge

Day 1

You’ll be picked up at either Birchwood Warrington at 10am, Warrington Bank Quay Train Station at 10.30am, Glasgow Central Train Station at 3pm, or Glasgow Airport at 3.30pm, where you'll be driven to the start point of Fort William for 6pm (feel free to meet your group there too if it works better for you) where you'll stay the night in a B&B and get to know you fellow hikers and guide.

There'll be a Q&A session and briefing at 8pm before getting a good night’s sleep for the challenge ahead.

Day 2

The challenge begins!

We'll fuel up on a hearty breakfast and head for the hills at 8am with our new adventure pals. After an 8:30 am start, you'll be guided up to the summit of Ben Nevis using the tourist (pony) path, the UK's highest point, passing streams, waterfalls, lakes and possibly walking through snow before summiting one of the most beautiful plateaus in Scotland, with unrivalled views for miles (literally). ‍

Once we've descended from the first peak, high on life and ready for a nap, we'll return to the minibus to be shuttled off to Scafell Pike in the Lake District at around 1:30pm. Use this time to stock up on sandwiches or pasta - good, high-energy food - followed by a good nap.

Arriving at Wasdale Head by 8.30pm, we'll head up to summit Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain, via the Wasdale Head route, a steep but short trail that'll lead us up to the top by around 11pm. Let's hope there's a full moon!

The tiredness will start to kick in at this point so we'll keep morale high as we descend with plenty of snacks and good chat. We'll likely fall straight asleep in the bus on the way to Wales, ready for our final peak of Snowdon.

Our journey includes a quick stop for a change of drivers - for legal DVSA reasons we need to use two drivers for the event but they can't travel together.

Day 3

A crack of dawn start - 4:30am - will have us starting up the Pyg Track to the top of Wales' highest mountain and down in time for brekkie by about 8:30am.

Once you reach that trig point on top of Snowdon and take your summit selfie, give yourself a whopper pat on the back - you did it! National Three Peaks Challenge - tick. Time to get down using the Llanberis path to a huge mug of coffee or a beer - your choice.

The whole National 3 Peaks Challenge, including the driving, should be completed within 24 hours. With about 10 hours driving, you've got roughly 14 hours left to complete all three mountains - no easy feat and a worthy challenge.

After your last summit, you'll be transferred to your drop-off point between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to make your way back home; weary-limbed, ready for a hot bath but with a huge glow of achievement!

Think you've got what it takes? Book now to avoid disappointment as this one sells out quickly every year.

We have one of the best completion rates in the industry and you just need to pay the deposit to your booking rolling.

What are you waiting for?

 

  • 1-night twin room accommodation on a same sex share basis (minimum 3* B&B) in Fort William (single rooms available at a £100 supplement subject to availability). Just add this to the 'notes' section at checkout or send us a message after you've booked. 
  • We typically use the hotel pictured below but may use others depending on availability

 

 

  • WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • Leader - fully qualified and First Aid trained UK Mountain Leaders
    • Professional Transport - with drivers from the following areas: Warrington, Manchester, Chester, Glasgow to Fort William and throughout the challenge
    • Drop-off - at Chester or Warrington railway station after the challenge (between 11:30 and 13:30 but timing cannot be guaranteed)
    • Accommodation - 1-night twin room (minimum 3* B&B) in Fort William (single rooms available at a £100 supplement, subject to availability. Request after checkout)
    • Certificates for all participants - these will be emailed to you as a PDF for home printing
    • Ongoing Support - from your guide from point of enquiry right through to the challenge

    WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

    • Travel - to and from agreed pickup location
    • Equipment - personal hiking gear e.g. boots, walking poles (optional)
    • Drinks - all drinks including water and alcohol (you can buy drinks along the way)
    • Food - including snacks
    • Personal Insurance - we recommend Campbell Irvine

 

Minibus pick-up locations:

  • 10:15 am - Birchwood Centre/Train Station Car Park 3 (WA3 7PU) – You can leave a car here for £10 for 5 days*
  • 10:30 am - Warrington Bank Quay
  • 3:00 pm - Glasgow Central
  • 3:30 pm - Glasgow Intl Airport

Minibus drop-off locations:

  • Chester Station
  • Warrington Bank Quay
  • Birchwood Centre/Train Station Car Park 3 (WA3 7PU) – If you left your car here you will be dropped off here at the end of the challenge

Drop-off times are usually between 11am and 2pm depending on the traffic but we can't guarantee a time.

We recommend buying an open ticket for the return journey.

We only stop at each if required obviously.

*Prices correct at the time of publication

 

IS THIS THE RIGHT TRIP FOR ME?

I'm travelling solo, is this a good option for me?

  • Absolutely! We offer this National 3 Peaks Challenge trip so that like-minded people can go on adventures without having to sort the long-winded logistics of who would do all the driving, coordinate annual leave, arrange hotels, etc.
  • More than half of our guests book solo, it's one of the main reasons people choose to book with Call to Adventure.
  • We have lots of guests booking in 1s, 2s, and 3s so you'll be in good company. The guides are also great at ensuring everyone feels part of the team.
  • Or you can book for a private group. These need to be booked in blocks of 10 people.

What is the age range?

  • It always differs but the average is between 25 - 55 with a few either side.
  • But remember age is just a number so this shouldn't be too much of a focus for you.

Is there a minimum age for this trip?

  • Open trips - 18 years old
  • Private trips - the guide has an AALA licence so we can accommodate any young person accompanied or not. Not all the guides are DBS checked though so we would need to know beforehand just in case.

How hard is the National Three Peaks Challenge?

  • The challenge involves walking up the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in under 24 hours. 
  • That's twenty-three miles of walking and 3,064m of ascent. We won't lie, it's not easy, but well within the capabilities of anyone willing to put the training in.
  • Thousands complete it each year so as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness with some hill walking experience under your belt you'll be fine.
  • It's only hiking so you don't need any technical skills.

How fit do I need to be for the National Three Peaks Challenge?

  • You'll need a good level of fitness for the National Three Peaks Challenge. You should be willing and able to walk the distances set out in the itinerary. 
  • You don't need to be a super experienced hiker, but some training in the months leading up to the challenge will go a long way. 
  • We’ll send you a dedicated training plan after you book so you know exactly how to prepare
  • This will be the biggest challenge many guests have ever attempted

How fast will I need to walk?

  • The walking pace for the National 3 Peaks will be set by the guide so that the group can complete the challenge within the 24-hour time limit. This will typically be a moderate to fast walk.
  • Breaks will be minimal lasting just a couple of minutes to drink, have a quick snack, and a breather. You'll also need to be able to keep moving and eat snacks on the go.
  • If you're finding it hard to keep up with the pace or you're struggling, the guide may need to discuss with you your options going forward.
  • To be clear, this is a challenge, not a leisurely walk! 
  • We also offer the Three Peaks in 3 days if you want to experience the mountains at a much less challenging pace.

How many mountain leaders will be walking with us?

  • One guide per group of ten. This doesn't mean everyone has to turn back if there's a problem. Most dropouts happen nearer the bottom of the mountain and are mostly due to lack of fitness so can be managed fairly easily.
  • Of course, injuries do happen but we haven't had to abandon a mountain due to injury.

TRIP SPECIFICS

What size will the group be?

  • Up to 10 guests per group.
  • We also offer custom packages for groups of 6 people or more. 
  • Custom trips need to be booked in blocks of 10 regardless of how many people you have in the group. You'll just split the cost of 10 places between you so 10 people is ideal but not required.
  • Select ‘private trip’ at checkout for this option.

If we book as a group, will it be just us on the minibus?

  • This trip has a maximum of 10 per group but we can run multiple groups on each date. 
  • If you have a group of say 16, you might therefore have up to 4 other adventurers joining one of your groups.
  • However, if you'd like exclusivity so it's just you, you can pay for the additional places. So for a group of 18, you would pay for 20 spaces and split the cost between 18 of you. 

Which route will we be taking up each mountain?

  • Ben Nevis - pony (tourist) zig-zag path from the Visitor's Centre
  • Scafell Pike - path from Wasdale Head
  • Snowdon - PYG track for the ascent 
    • (the minibus drops us at Pen y Pass car park) and the Llanberis path for the descent, finishing in Llanberis.

Is this trip insured? What insurance do I need?

  • Yes, our guiding partners are insured for all the activities they offer.
  • We'd advise you to also get some personal insurance to cover you for injury or any personal loss or damage.
  • We recommend you use Campbell Irvine - they are our preferred insurer.

How much time does it take to complete the challenge?

  • 5 hours for Ben Nevis
  • 4 hours for Scafell Pike, from Wasdale Head
  • 4 hours for Snowdon
  • 10-11 hours of driving 
  • We use a dedicated driver so neither you nor your guide are too tired upon arrival at the mountains
  • These obviously change based on things like the speed of the group, traffic, and weather

Will I need to scramble or rock climb?

  • No. Paths are rocky and uneven but there's no actual climbing or scrambling needed, it's just a long walk.

KIT

What will I need to bring for the National Three Peaks Challenge?

  • We'll send out a full kit list after booking 
  • But well-worn in hiking boots, a decent rucksack with a rain cover, waterproofs, basic first aid kit, lots of layers, water and snacks (energy bars, fruit etc) are a good starting point.

Can we leave things on the bus while we're hiking?

  • Yes - you'll be able to leave your clothes etc on the minibus while you're hiking so all you'll need to carry on the peaks is a day sack with the things you'll need for that climb.

FOOD

Can dietary needs be accommodated?

  • Yes, the hotel can provide breakfast for a wide range of dietary needs and preferences - just let us know your needs and we'll make sure they can accommodate. 
  • Bring snacks with you for the mountains and the drive in between. You should find plenty of options at service stations too.

ACCOMMODATION

Will I get my own room the night before the challenge?

  • We use twin rooms on a shared basis, meaning you´ll share with another participant. 
  • Where possible we match men with men and women with women (almost always possible)
  • Single rooms are available for a supplement of £100 per person, this is subject to availability though, so it's best to let us know as early as possible. Just add this to the 'notes' section at checkout or send us a message after you've booked. 

TRANSPORT

What is the transport like?

  • We use a converted minibus with a dedicated driver for the whole challenge so you can concentrate on the challenge.
  • We typically use our own vehicles which are dedicated specifically to this trip.
  • Some of the features include: A/C, semi-reclining seats, overhead luggage racks, and large boot or trailer
  • Occasionally though we need to use a third-party vehicle to ensure your trip can still go ahead.
  • The minibus has a maximum capacity of 10 guests but we have multiple vehicles.

What's the drive like?

  • The total driving distance is 450 miles so you'll be on the bus for around ten hours, but don't worry - you'll have plenty of space to get comfy.
  • We'll need to take a 45-minute driver rest stop on the way to Scafell Pike as a VOSA legal requirement.

Can the seats in the minibus recline?

  • Yes a little, a bit like a plane seat. 
  • Please keep in mind that in the event of an emergency we may need to use a substitute bus that doesn't have this feature. 
  • All of the buses we use have the same features: A/C, Semi reclining seats, Overhead luggage racks, and large boot or trailer

Can you guarantee a drop-off time after the event?

  • Unfortunately not as this all depends on traffic conditions etc. 
  • We will do our best to keep to suggested times but we recommend buying an open ticket just in case.

OTHER

Are discounts available for group bookings?

  • We don't offer further discounts as the price is already very competitive and great value for money.

Can I still do the National Three Peaks with a medical condition?

  • Sure thing! We'll send you a health questionnaire before the trip so we can check how we can support you through the challenge.
  • Just give us a call if you'd like to discuss any extra support you feel you might need.

Can I bring my dog?

  • Unfortunately, we can't accommodate dogs.

 Do I get anything for completing the National Three Peaks?

  • Of course! A shiny certificate of achievement will find its way to you by email after the challenge for serious bragging rights!

What's the best time of year to attempt the National Three Peaks?

  • The most popular months for attempting the National Three Peaks are June and July as they are closest to the summer solstice so allow for the most daylight hours. Between June and August temperatures are usually good and rainfall tends to be lower. However, mountain weather can be unpredictable and it's perfectly possible to experience winter weather in summer!
  • The National Three Peaks season runs from April to October; in the winter months the weather gets increasingly unpredictable and the days are much shorter.
  • It's worth considering the National Three Peaks in spring or autumn as the mountains are much less crowded and the roads are quieter plus the weather can deliver perfect sunshine days well into November!

 

  • Free cancellation or date change up to 65 days before departure
  • Deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is cancelled by us, then you'll get a full refund
Simon - National 3 Peaks Guide

Meet your guide, Simon

Simon is a highly experiences mountain lover who specialises in delivering the best National 3 Peaks trips going

Simon is your head guide for this trip meaning he coordinates a team of fully qualified and highly experienced Mountain Leaders. Whilst Simon has scaled mountains all over the world, his focus for the last few years has been on offering the very best National 3 Peaks trips on offer.

His team has one of the highest completion rates in the industry and limits each mini-bus to 10 guests, so you'll give yourself the best chance of completing the challenge in under 24 hours and travel comfortably. His trips sell out every year so reserve your spot now to avoid missing out.

Experience

  • 16 years UK
  • 8 years overseas

Qualifications

  • UK Mountain Leader
  • BEL (Basic Expedition Leadership)
  • First Aid (renewed regularly)

Languages

  • English

Insurance

  • All vehicles, drivers and leaders are appropriately insured - public liability cover for up to £5 million (although you should still take out your own travel insurance - we recommend Campbell Irvine)

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