10. Finally: Do some research on the places you will visit, the routes you will walk and the roads you will drive on. Be aware of the sensitivities of the communities you pass through remembering hundreds of other people may have driven or walked past just hours before you. Get up-to-date information about roadworks, traffic delays, weather reports, path diversions and have alternative plans in place - Be Ready and Stay Safe.

Good Luck.


9. Standby Team Members: Inevitably, out of the 10 people who agreed to take on the challenge (when you suggested it in the pub) some were never really going to attempt it, some just are not fit enough, some will get injured or be unwell, and some won't be able to get the time off work. Get some financial commitment up front, and don't book accommodation, etc., until you have some money from them! One or two members may still pull out very close to the date for genuinne reasons, so try to have a standby walker and driver ready and waiting. Don't be tempted to share the driving between the walkers if your driver drops out - have a standby ready...!!!


8. Setting The Dates: The end of June gives the longest daylight hours, and the shortest periods of darkness. It is possible to organise your challenge so that you do not have to walk any mountain in the dark at this time. However, this is also by far the busiest time of year for the challenge, and you certainly won't be alone. Check the internet for dates of large organised events, and try to avoid these dates. If possible, use mid-week or a staggered weekend (ie, Fri/Sat or Sun/Mon) rather than the weekend itself. For dates either side of the summer (April, October) you may well find that you have to walk two mountains in the dark.


7. Food: You need to formulate a good plan for getting food! Many people simply opt for leaving a cooker and some flasks with the driver so they have a supply of hot water, then eat instant meals, soups, tea, coffee, etc., supplemented with sandwishes, cold pasta, crisps, nuts, fruit, energy bars, etc. Others opt to make use of the chip shop, McDonnalds, motorway services, etc., en-route. You will need a lot of water, especially during the summer if the weather is warm, and we suggest around 5 litres per person. Supplies can be purchased from the Morrisons or Tesco Metro in Fort William.


6. Group Safety: Leave your driver with a list of contact details, and emergency contacts for each walker. They should know your intended routes and any summit ETA's, plus the time you should arrive back at the vehicle. Agree a plan of action should you not return by a certain time, and if no contact between the group/driver is possible. A mixture of mobile phones and VHF radios can help maintain contact - just remember that batteries do fail, signals are lost, and radios have lots of 'dead' spots. Any group should have enough first aid, safety and emergency equipment to remain 'comfortably' on the mountain for at least a few hours during night-time.


5. Accommodation: Getting a goods night sleep before the challenge helps significantly, and stopping over after the challenge allows everyone to enjoy a celebratory drink without worrying about the long drive home. Fort William and Llanberis both have a large selection of campsites, hostels, bunkhouses, B&B's, Guest Houses and Hotels. Book early, especially around the school holidays, and for the end of June when many people choose to attempt their challenge. Some links to help find accommodation can be found here.


4. Transport: During the challenge you will spend some 11 hours and over 450 miles in your vehicle, trying to get some sleep, so it's important you use something big enough to be able to spread out, and store all of your kit. 5 people in a Ford Fiesta is not comfy. As a guide for larger groups, try to leave some 25-30% or seats free, ie. 15 seater minibus = 11 people maximum. If hiring a minibus, bear in mind most are now restricted to 62mph, your driver will need D1 catagory on their licence, and some hire companies will charge a mileage excess. You MUST have at least one driver (ideally two) that will not be taking part in the walking. Have breakdown cover, check you've got a servicable spare wheel, wheel brace and jack, don't run out of fuel!


3. Get The Right Equipment: Our seasons now are only determined by the temperature of the rain! You need clothing and equipment for all weathers - just select what you need on the day. It is very possible to encounter sub-zero temperatures and near arctic conditions on Ben Nevis on Saturday, heavy rain and high winds during the night at Scafell Pike, then hot and dry conditions to finish with on Snowdon. Take plenty of fresh base layers, underwear and socks, and something comfortable to travel in. Walking boots are essential - don't even think about training shoes. You should always have a bivvy bag, some extra food, and a head torch with spare batteries in your rucksack, even if you expect to finish in daylight. A full kit list can be found here.


2. Navigation: Ben Nevis and Snowdon are relatively straight-forward in terms of navigation. Paths are well established, and in good, clear conditions should not pose any real problems, assuming you have good basic navigational skills. Extra care should be taken on the summit plateau of Ben Nevis which may be covered in snow well into the summer (summit map and information here), and groups using the Pyg Track on Snowdon should ensure they don't stray onto Crib Goch. Scafell Pike, however, presents walkers with many more problems - especially in darkness and/or mist. It is highly recommended that you take a dry run on Scafell Pike before you attempt the challenge. If in doubt, employ a mountain guide.


Three Peaks Challenge

Top Tips

(Organising Your Own Challenge)

To enjoy a safe, low impact, successful challenge, you must be prepared to put in some time and effort before the event to ensure that you have the required level of fitness and experience, the right kit suitable for the conditions you may encounter, and the right vehicle and drivers for safe and comfortable transport. You should have completed at least 2 or 3 mountain days together, as a team, so that you are aware of each others stregths and weaknesses - and you need to agree on a plan of action should one of your team become slightly injured, or not be as fit as they thought - thus slowing the team considerably. Remember - not sticking together on the mountains can lead to disaster..!

1. Group Experience, Fitness and Training: Spend some time together, as a group, walking and navigating in the mountains. You can increase your mountain fitness, get used to foul weather conditions, try out new items of kit, improve your navigation, but most importantly - see how you work together as a group. Anyone a bit slower than the others should not simply be left at the back, as this can cause resentment and extra fatigue throughout the group. Keep swapping places, and ensure the pace and rest breaks are suitable for everyone. On the challenge you MUST stay together whilst on the mountains, especially in darkness or poor visibility. A suggested fitness training programme can be found here.