The National 3 Peaks Challenge
The National 3 peaks challenge in 24 hours is a strenuous challenge requiring a good level of physical fitness and stamina. You will be guided on the 3 highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales by a fully qualified, fully insured Mountain Leader with experience of all of the routes that you will use. These highly skilled guides have the minimum Mountain Leader (Summer) qualification provided by Mountain Training UK and are also qualified first aiders. They have a wealth of experience in the mountains and have been highly trained in navigation, especially in poor visibility. They also undergo continuous personal development to keep these skills current and up to date.
On the day, you will walk about 36km, climb over 3000m (and come down) and drive over 450 miles.
You need to be comfortable walking in the mountains to complete this challenge. Mountain weather is very changeable and you should be happy walking in poor conditions as well as on uneven ground. Good tips for preparation would be to go walking (uphill), jogging, or even attend one of our training days. You'll find out exactly what is required and your Mountain Leader would then be able to advise you on a training plan to help you achieve your goal. If you feel that this challenge is too strenuous, then please take a look at our 3 day 3 peaks challenge which is highly recommended.
Your experience begins at Fort William where you will all meet for the first time. Fort William is easily accessible by rail or you could opt for one of our travel arrangements to get you there. We recommend that you travel to Fort Wiliam on the Friday before your challenge. This is mandatory for people choosing the travel option to Fort William. You will be able to get a good nights rest before your challenge and ensure you are at your best on the day. For those who stay in Fort William on the Friday, we will have a short briefing where you will get to met other participants and we will run through details about your trip such as what to expect from the weather and some top tips for the use of your kit.
On the morning of your challenge, you will be introduced to your Mountain Leader for Ben Nevis and complete a preliminary checklist before heading for the mountain. Please note that you may have a different Mountain Leader for each mountain. You will have time to stock up on some food and drink and information on what you might find useful will be provided. You should aim to travel light, however, our kit list below should be used as a minimum requirement for completing this challenge.
We will transport you in our own minibus with professional driver to Ben Nevis to begin your challenge at 8.30am. You will head directly up the tourist path to the summit of Ben Nevis and descend via the same route. Your Mountain Leader will keep pace and look after your group. You will attempt to complete Ben Nevis in 5 hours and set off for Scafell Pike by 1.30pm. You will have time to rest and eat on our minibus while you are transported to Wasdale Head to arrive by 7.30pm and start the climb up to Scafell Pike.
Scafell Pike will be completed during the night and a headtorch, with spare batteries is vitally important. You will aim to complete Scafell Pike in 4 hours and set off to Snowdon by 11.30pm. You will again have time to rest and refuel as we drive for 5 hours into Wales to arrive by 4.30am and begin your final climb up Mt Snowdon. You will aim to complete Mt Snowdon in 4 hours and finish your challenge by 8.30am.
After your challenge is complete, you will be transported to Bangor railway station unless you have opted to be returned to Liverpool which has good connections to all parts of the country. We would suggest that if you are travelling by rail to and from the event, you should purchase an open ticket for your return home in case of any travelling delays between the mounains.
We are the only company to consistently deliver an official 24 hour 'car park to car park' challenge. If you want a more sedate event, why not book onto our 24 hour 'Peak to Peak' challenge. This is what nearly every other company describes as their '24 hour' event. You will have more time to enjoy the mountains as we climb to the summit of Ben Nevis before starting the clock and finish on the summit of Mt Snowdon. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this event.
Travel to and from your challenge
Our bus departs from Liverpool South Parkway train station at 10am on the Friday before the challenge and collects at Glasgow airport at 3.30pm. These options are included in the cost of your challenge. You can select a travel option when you book.
- Make your own travel arrangements to Fort William.
- Join our minibus from Liverpool to Fort William.
- Collection from Glasgow Airport.
- After your event, we will return you to Liverpool South Parkway train station.
We can cater for any dates to suit you for your challenge. If you have a particular date in mind, then please contact us before booking. Our 3 peak/24hr challenges are usually run on a Saturday and Sunday and our 3 peak/3 day challenges are usually run on Tuesdays to Thursdays, however, we can arrange any trip on any date if you have other requirements.
24 Hour Challenge dates:
June - 30th & 1st (July)
July - 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th, 21st & 22nd, 28th & 29th
August - 18th & 19th, 25th & 26th
September - 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th, 29th & 30th
October - 6th & 7th,
May - 11th & 12th, 25th & 26th
June - 8th & 9th, 22nd & 23rd
July - 6th & 7th, 20th & 21st
August - 3rd & 4th, 17th & 18th, 24th & 25th
September - 7th & 8th, 21st & 22nd
Mountain weather is unpredictable, however, forecasting is also very accurate nowadays. You must be prepared to walk in poor conditions i.e wet and windy. No challenge would be cancelled due to weather unless under extreme circumstances. Your Mountain Leader will have a full, up to date weather report and will check this regularly during your challenge.
Your equipment is vitally important for your enjoyment and safety on your challenge. The following list is a minimum requirement by Active Mountaineering, however, this can be expensive so we have kit to lend or hire to reduce your cost.
- Boots – Covering your ankle, well worn in.
- Thick socks x 2
- Liner socks (Worn under thick socks, helps prevent blisters)
- Lightweight walking trousers
- Waterproof over trousers
- Thin base layer
- Fleece or synthetic mid layer
- Waterproof jacket
- Gloves x 2 (Waterproof, 1 thin pair and 1 thick pair)
- Spare trousers and top incase you get wet
- 35 litre backpack with rain cover
- Waterproof backpack liner
- 2 litre water carrier (platypus or 2 x 1 litre water bottles)
- Headtorch with spare batteries
- Personal first aid kit/medication (group first aid kit supplied)
- Walking sticks (optional)
- High energy snacks/gels
- Personal wash kit/deodorant
- Travel pillow, sleep mask, ear plugs (optional, for use on the minibus)
- Money for food/drink
On the mountains, food is your fuel. It is vitally important that you are well fuelled before you start your challenge but would advise against eating too much before you start. Have a good, hearty breakfast at least 1 hour before your challenge starts and pack a good quantity of high energy snacks or drinks in your back pack. Fruit, cereal bars, chocolate, nuts etc are very good for on the mountains.
In addition, you should have some good carbohydrate rich food to eat on the minibus whilst travelling between the mountains.
You will find your challenge much easier if you can rest and get some sleep while travelling between mountains. We therefore recommend that you bring along a travel pillow, sleep mask and ear plugs. Even 1 hour will have a huge impact on your enjoyment of your challenge.
If you wish to raise money for a charity, and are funding this event yourself, it is best to set up a JustGiving page for your fundraising and book by adding your chosen this event to your basket. If you wish your fundraising to pay for your event, we will send you a sponsorship pack and recommend a minimum fundraising target of £400. The cost of the challenge and fundraising pack are covered by this (a total of £200), and the remaining fundraising total is donated to your nominated charity, in your name. You can, if you wish, opt to allocate your fundraising to our own nominated charities. We support the NSPCC and the Mountain Rescue teams that operate on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mt Snowdon.
When you book for a challenge with Active Mountaineering, we require only a 50% deposit at the time of booking with the balance due no later than 4 weeks before your challenge date.
After your challenge has been completed, you will receive a medal.
We recommend that you take out travel insurance for any cancellation/curtailment.