National 3 Peaks 3 day challenge

Location: Snowdonia, Lake District, West Highlands
Distance: 38Km (and 470 miles driving in between the mountains)
Ascent 3064m
Minimum group size 8

The 3 peaks challenge is offered as either an open or bespoke events for you. If you would like more information please keep reading or contact Hepworth Adventures for more details.

3 Peaks Background

The “3 peaks” is a very popular challenge involving climbing the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland. Scafell Pike in the Lake District, Snowdon in Snowdonia and Ben Nevis in the West Highlands in one continuous effort. The total walking distance is about 38Km depending on which route you take and the total ascent is 3064m. The total driving distance between the mountains is 462 miles.

There is a popular aim of trying to complete the 3 peaks in 24 hours but at Hepworth Adventures we prefer to complete the challenge over 3 days. Three mountains in 3 days. Please note that this still requires careful planning, training and commitment from all those involved to ensure the highest chance of being successful.

Here are some of the reasons why we prefer spending three days over the challenge:

  • It is achievable by more people.
  • It means you climb (or descend) the mountains during daylight thus giving you views of the majestic scenery you are climbing up.
  • Stretching the challenge over 3 days means that we will be putting money into the local economy- we need places to stay and places to get food along the way.
  • There are more choices of routes to take up and down the mountains. We are not limited by the shortest route up and down because we have a bit more time each day.
  • It reduces the risk to you because you can climb up the mountains in the light which is considerably easier than in the dark.

We are happy to facilitate the completion of the challenge over 24 hours but you need to be aware of the extra demands this places on you and the environment. A happy compromise would be to try and complete the walk sections at the same pace you need for a 24 hour challenge using Google Maps to calculate the drive times between the 3 mountains, but spending 3 days over the challenge.

Suggested timings

Ben Nevis Visitor Centre to Wasdale Head 260 miles – 6 hours
Wasdale Head to Pen-y-Pass 210 miles – 4hrs
Total drive time 10 Hours

This means you have 14 hours to walk up the 3 mountains.Which is still quite a tough challenge!

Ben Nevis: 5 Hours 45 minutes
Scafell Pike:  4 hours 10 minutes
Snowdon: 4 hours 05 minutes

Total time 24 hours

Most groups complete the 3 peaks starting at Ben Nevis in Scotland and head South, but sometimes it works better to start on Snowdon in Wales depending on logistics and where the group are starting from.

Why Choose Hepworth Adventures?

  • We have considerable expertise on these three mountains- Jeremy has been to the top of them over 200 times
  • High standards of safety and responsibility for the environment are core to the event
  • We will make sure you are informed of the timings, expectations, training and preparation for this event
  • Comprehensive advice on equipment and kit requirements will be given prior to the event
  • Professional organised minibuses are used to transport between the mountains
  • We will use excellent local accommodation and food
  • We support sustainable tourism in each area we visit
  • Working with the Three Peaks Partnership we will make a £5 donation per person for these conservation organisations:
    • Friends of Nevis A conservation charity working on Ben Nevis
    • Fix the Fells A charity working to replace the paths around Scafell and the Lake District
    • Snowdonia Society A conservation charity helping to look after Snowdonia and the landscape around Snowdon

Suggested long weekend itinerary

Day 1
Friday lunchtime Meet Glasgow
Afternoon collect supplies and food
Ascend Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis via the Mountain Path
Evening: Depart Ben Nevis and overnight journey south

Day 2
Saturday Morning ascend Scafell from Wasdale Head
Drive to Snowdon
Afternoon ascend Snowdon
Evening descend Snowdon
Overnight accommodation in Snowdonia to celebrate success

Day 3
Depart after breakfast on Sunday