3 Peaks challenge training & preparation
The 3 peaks challenge is the most popular UK mountain team building and charity fund raising event
We can provide as much support as you need for your 3 peaks challenge leaving you to concentrate on the climbing.
We have lots of experience leading groups on the 3 peaks challenge and we can provide the encouragement and motivation necessary to increase your chances of success. We can also supply any necessary equipment such as head torches, rucksacks and walking poles etc.
If you intend attempting the 3 peaks challenge by yourself or with a group of friends or colleagues, your chance of success is greatly improved with adequate preparation.
Research the challenge, plan your challenge then train for your challenge.
3 peaks challenge research
The most important single item to equip yourself with in order to safely complete the 3 peaks challenge is - knowledge!
- Read as much as you can about the three peaks challenge - nothing should come as a surprise to you when you eventually attempt it.
- Read as much as you can about the routes up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
- If you can, speak to others who've doneit. Ask what went right, what went wrong and what they'd do differently.
- Have a dedicated driver and ensure he or she researches the route between the mountains..
- Understand the environmental concerns surrounding the 3 peaks challenge to avoid much of the criticism.
- Read the Institute for Fundraising's code of practice.
3 peaks challenge planning
Once you've filled your head with all that knowledge it's time to draw up a plan! If you intend to book accommodation for your 3 peaks challenge, do so well in advance as accommodation quickly fills up in the Summer months. Plan the routes you'll take up all 3 mountains and make a list of all the equipment etc. you'll need.
A minimum kit list suggestion:
- Waterproof jacket & waterproof overtrousers
- Windproof outer garment (waterproofs)
- rucksack (35 litres)
- Hats (minimum of 2)
- Gloves (minimum of 2 pairs)
- Headtorch (plus spare batteries or spare headtorch)
- Map of each mountain area
- Fleece or similar plus spare
- First Aid kit
- Water or drinks container
- Boots (plus spare pair if you have them)
- Walking socks, three pairs
- High energy snacks
- Spare clothing to change into
- Walking poles
- Sun protection cream
- Road maps
- Mobile phone
Take only essentials in your rucksack (first aid kit, spare batteries, spare gloves and hats etc. are considered essential items). The more you put in it the heavier it will be, making the climb that much more strenuous. Even in daylight take a head torch and spare batteries in case you take longer than planned or in case of emergency.
In good weather make sure you still take your waterproofs in your rucksack. Mountains create their own weather and it can change very quickly.
Prepare spare clothing in your vehicle ready to change into when you return from the mountain, don't sit in wet clothing for several hours when travelling to the next peak.
Don't forget about the vehicle you intend to use for your 3 peaks challenge. Make sure it's up to the job and legal! Before setting off check tyres, lights, oil, water, brake fluid, fuel etc. If you intend using a hire vehicle make sure you book it well in advance. You'll spend many hours in whatever vehicle you use so the more spacious it is the more comfortable the journey between the peaks will be.
Ensure you have a back-up plan in case things don't quite go the way you intended.
- Leave a route plan with someone in case of emergency
- Making contact calls at predetermined times to that person
- Consider breakdown cover in event of vehicle breakdown etc.
- Know how to call Mountain Rescue in case of emergency
3 peaks challenge training
During your attempt of the 3 peaks challenge you'll experience sleep deprivation and prolonged physical discomfort! You'll certainly be out of your 'comfort zone' for much of the time.
You can train to improve your fitness but you can't train for the other challenges.
Improving your fitness certainly improves your chances of successfully completing the challenge so devise a training plan that involves lots of aerobic fitness training and where possible lots of walking over different terrain. If you have the opportunity to walk any of the routes up the individual 3 peaks all the better, this will give you some experience of the terrain you'll encounter on the challenge.
If you're doing the challenge with a group, train together as this will encourage a team spirit but you'll also get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. By training together you'll be able to recognise when one of your colleagues needs a little 'encouragement'.
If you're attempting the challenge with others make sure you all know the plan!
3 peaks challenge - tips for success
Now that you've researched all the routes and decided on the route you're going to take, prepare a route card, breaking the routes into manageable legs. This can help you focus on the detail of the route and see features on the map you may not have otherwise noticed.
Map Compass GPS
Practice your navigation skills with map and compass and get to know your GPS if you intend using one. The last thing you want on your 3 peaks challenge attempt is to stand around on a cold, wet and windy mountainside while the navigator reads the instructions on how to use the GPS! It uses up precious time and can have a detrimental effect on the group's confidence in the navigator!
Make a list
Make a list of all the items you need and tick them off the list as you pack your rucksack etc.
Test your equipment
Check that the clothing and equipment you intend using is OK, i.e. that it fits you and that it works! Many people buy new clothing, boots etc. for their 3 peaks challenge but don't check it properly prior to the challenge. They're then suddenly presented with a problem as they set off on their first mountain! By trying all your equipment and wearing your new clothes (particularly boots) including rucksack beforehand you'll discover any problems such as ill fitting items and will be in a position to do something about it before your challenge starts.
Blisters are painful! They're often the reason why people abandon their 3 peaks challenge attempt.
Ensure your boots are a good fit and worn in prior to your 3 peaks challenge. Go for long walks in them, wear them all day, wear them for bed if necessary, but get them worn in! By wearing them in you'll identify any pressure points where blisters are likely to occur and you'll be able to better prepare for the challenge day.
To avoid getting blisters some people wear two pairs of socks, a thin pair underneath a thicker pair while others use zinc oxide tape on pressure points. There are various other methods so find out what works for you. A lucky few people don't seem to suffer from blisters!
Get the best boots you can afford, the firmer the sole and ankle support the better. Modern boots are a mixture of man made fabrics for lightness and comfort but unfortunately this means they don't offer the same protection against rocks as full, thick leather boots do. Avoid wearing trainers or other inappropriate footwear.
We offer 3 peaks challenge training events in the Lake District during which you'll make an ascent of Scafell Pike. Scafell Pike presents difficulties for many 3 peaks challenge participant,- the terrain is confusing, particularly in descent.
Check the weather forecast
Don't forget to check the weather forecast before you set off on your 3 peaks challenge. The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) is a good source for all 3 mountain areas.
Lay down the rules!
Have a safety briefing before you start your 3 peaks challenge. Lay down the rules and enforce them! You don't want to spend time searching for a member of your group who's decided to do their own thing! If this happens your 3 peaks challenge attempt is almost certainly over and the safety of that individual and the entire group is at risk. It may entail a call to Mountain Rescue!
Look after each other
Be aware of your group's general well being. If individuals are showing signs of injury or illness at the start of a walk consider whether they should be continuing. A minor injury at valley level can quickly become a life threatening situation high on the mountain. Don't be afraid to make a tough decision!
Eat and drink
When on the mountain eat and drink as you go, little and often is the accepted advice from those who know. Avoid long rest periods as your body will cool rapidly.
Get ready in the vehicle before each mountain
If you're attempting the 3 peaks challenge over 24 hours you can't afford to waste time when you arrive at the start of the stages so get yourself ready in the vehicle if possible 10 to 15 minutes before arriving at the start of each stage.
The same applies to arriving at the summit - quick group photo, drink and then descend and return to the vehicle - quickly change out of wet/damp clothing, get in the vehicle and off you go. You can drink and eat while on the move.
Don't waste time
Factor in 'comfort stops' when driving between the mountains but again, don't waste time doing things that aren't necessary.
It's important that all driving is in accordance with the law and acceptable standards. If you've lost time on the hill don't encourage your driver to try to make up that time by speeding or driving inappropriately
Be sensible - be safe
Be sensible and flexible with your plans. Be prepared to postpone or call off your 3 peaks challenge attempt if the weather forecast is particularly poor on the day or for other reasons. The mountains will always be there for another attempt, your priority must be the safety of you, your group and the public.
To book your 3 peaks challenge tel: 07584 177506 or 01228 573513