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The 3 Peaks Challenge

Last weekend I took on the three peaks challenge with my friends Hannah and Craig.  The Three peaks are Ben Nevis (1344m – Scotland), Scafell Pike (978m – England) and Snowdon (1085m – Wales). We planned to complete the three peaks on consecutive three days as we did not have a designated driver  (The normal challenge is to complete it in 24 hours). It also gave us time to enjoy the mountains and surrounding areas.

We set off after work on Thursday and drove for three and a half hours (208 miles) up to Lancaster where we stayed at the Holiday Inn. In hindsight we could have driven further and perhaps made it up to Scotland, but it did mean that we got to have a few drinks in the pub.

Setting off at 5 am on Friday Morning we drove for around 5 hours (267 miles) all the way up to Ben Nevis. We parked right next to the Inn. Setting off up the tourist track at 10:10 am, we reached the summit (1344 metres) in 3 hours. Initially the weather was mild, although very windy. The weather took a turn for the worse as we reached the summit, and it continued to rain for the rest of the climb. It took us 2.5 hours to descend back down to the car park. After enjoying a quick celebratory drink at the Ben Nevis Inn before heading along the A82 and A86 to Roy Bridge where we stayed at the Àite Cruinnichidh Hostel.

We were up again at 5am on Saturday morning for a five and a half hour (258 mile) drive down to Scafell Pike where we parked at the North-Eastern end of Wast Water. The ascent of Scafell Pike was a breeze compared to Nevis and the weather was much kinder! Setting off at 10:30, we reached the summit of Scafell Pike (978 meters) in under two hours. After a 15 minute rest at the top, the descent took another hour and a half.

From Scafell Pike we drove for around an hour and a half (45 miles) down to Bowness on Windmere where Hannah had booked us into a rather lush Bed and Breakfast called Fell View. We spent the evening in and around Bowness, eating at an Italian restaraunt, followed by drinks at various pubs around the town and ending up in The Wheelhouse which described itself as the “Lake District’s Premiere nightclub” where somehow we managed to stay out until 3am!

Sunday morning was a late start for obvious reasons. Hannah (who had refrained from drinking) drove for four and a quarter hours (202 miles) to Snowdon. we parked near the A498/A4086 junction as the car park at Gorphwysfa was full. Setting off at 11:30 am we took the Pyg track up to the summit of Snowdon (1085 meters) which took under three hours, before returning down the Miners track. On the descent we watched as the rescue helicopter and mountain rescue teams were called in to assist a walker who had suffered a leg injury. Although drizzly (especially near the summit), Snowdonia was as spectacular as ever.

After completing Snowdon, it took around six hours (due to congestion) (198 miles) to get back to Swindon.  After 3 days, 1200 miles and £300 fuel we achieved our goal of climbing the three peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

Map showing the position of the 3 Peaks

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Jonathan Tolhurst

About Jonathan Tolhurst

Based in London, my interests include photography, kayaking, paddle boarding, electric unicycling, teepees, robotics, programming, databases, informatics and pharmacy.

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Jonathan Tolhurst