Three Peaks of Yorkshire - Top Tips.

For those of you wishing to try and climb Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in 2009, here's some tips and advice to help you on your 24 mile challenge walk..! Please feel free to add you comments or observations if you've walked this route before.

1. Make sure you get an early start..! The earlier the better. If you have started walking by 7am, then you can aim to finish around 7pm, and possibly have a little time spare for food breaks enroute. Any later starts risk not only a finish in the dark - but possibly even arriving back at the finish after they've finished serving food - disaster...

2. Carry spare socks. The section across the moss, just after completing Pen-Y-Ghent, is always boggy. Even in dry weather, you are unlikely to reach Ribblehead with dry feet. Wet feet & wet socks will ensure blisters well before the end of the challenge - so ensure you at least have spare socks, but also consider some foot powder and blister pads (compeed etc).

3. Carry some money. Ribblehead has a Public Inn, and usually a mobile catering van. Chapel-Le-Dale also has a Public Inn, and the farm just before the Inn often serves snacks to walkers. Also bear in mind any walkers wishing to retire at the above - carry emergency money for a train or taxi home.

4. Get to know the route. Check out the route fully before you start, and read the many route descriptions and trip reports. Get a good idea of where other walkers had any problems with underfoot conditions or navigation.

5. Carry the right kit. I assume that in reading this blog, you are fully aware of the right clothing and equipment you should be carrying to ensure your own safety and comfort during this challenge walk. If not, check the equipment list here.


Scafell Pike - Top Tips

Don't underestimate just how difficult this mountain can be when navigating in poor visibility. Pay a visit to the area before your challenge, and have a training walk so you are familiar when you return.

2. Many mistakes are made by trying to return back from the summit too quickly. Steady accurate progress down the mountain is much better than rapid progress in the wrong direction.

3. The paths underfoot are rocky and loose, and very slippery when wet. You will need to cross the Gill if using the route from Wasdale. Always wear walking boots with ankle protection - not training shoes.

4. Always carry a head torch and spare batteries, even if you do not intend to still be on Scafell Pike in the dark. Hi-viz jackets and rear LED lights or glow-sticks are an ideal way to help a team stay together.

5. Groups should stay together in poor visibility. It is very easy to get split up, and even pass each other without realising it. One common reason for failing to complete the challenge within a 24 hour period is time lost searching for team members on Scafell Pike in the dark.

6. Beware of becoming confused by other head torches on the mountain. It is very easy to be drawn towards other teams, only to discover they are lost, or are attempting a different route.

7. Stick to made-up paths, and route with cairns. Once you lose the path underfoot, or lose sight of cairns, it can be difficult and confusing trying to rediscover the correct route. Walking on the fell or grass adds to errosion of the area and should be avoided.

8. If possible, try to remain in contact with your support vehicle, and other team members, by using handheld VHF radios. Mobile phones will not work in the Wasdale or Seathwaite valley - but both do have a public telephone available (credit card may be required).

9. Your team should use the motorway services to have a break, get a hot drink, fuel up your vehicle, use the toilets, dispose of rubbish, fill up water bottles, change maps, sort out your kit and rucsac ready for Scafell Pike. Idealy you should be able to arrive and start walking - Wasdale and Seathwaite have no facilities, no water available, and no street lighting. Arrive fully prepared..!

10. Please respect these quiet and remote locations.

Both areas are sensitive and are surrounded by working farms, campsites, B&B's, etc. Please keep any noise and disruption to an absolute minimum. Arrive quietly and turn your engine and headlights off. Don't slam vehicle doors, play loud music, or shout to each other.

Park considerately in designated parking areas - taking care not to block access for local traffic or Mountain Rescue Services.

Remove all rubbish you create, and use motorway service toilets, not behind walls, trees and bushes..!

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