Three Peaks Challenge Timings

We’d like to make it perfectly clear that there’s no fixed time you are expected to start your Three Peaks Challenge – it’s entirely your choice. If you are booking your challenge through us we’ll be happy to accommodate any start time.

How long will your challenge take and what time will you finish are questions we are most often asked and the answer is that there are a range of factors that can influence your speed – not just your fitness! Therefore, to give you the best chance of success you should consider the following:

  1. What time do you need to be finished by to get home? Consider working your timings backwards to identify your start time. Remember to add some “snag-time” to save you rushing for your train in wet gear!
  2. Are you confident navigating at night or would you rather tackle the mountains in daylight?
  3. If you need to take public transport home from the finish, will it be available early/late in the day (often on a Sunday)
  4. Ben Nevis is around 2.5 to 3 hours drive from Glasgow, have you allowed enough time to get to the start?
  5. If you have transport for your team, a 17 seat minibus will be restricted to 62 mph by law – a 9 seat vehicle won’t be. That 8mph difference on the motorway is worth factoring in!

So what are the options?

Option 1 – Early Start

This option will probably require an overnight in Fort William the night before your challenge starts.  The bonus is that both Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike to be climbed in daylight, but care should be taken on the ascent of Snowdon, especially if walking the PYG Track.

0600   Commence challenge with ascent of Ben Nevis.

1100   Finish Ben Nevis and drive to Scafell Pike

1700   Arrive Wasdale Head and start climbing Scafell Pike

2130   Finish Scafell Pike and drive to Snowdon

0200   Arrive Llanberis and start climbing Snowdon

0559   Finish at base of Snowdon.  Challenge complete.

 

Option 2  – Light Traffic

Heavy traffic can often scupper the most well-organised challenge. Bank Holidays and the weekends closest to midsummer are definitely a red flag for traffic jams.  To avoid this possibility, consider starting your Three Peaks Challenge at midday, this will mean you should have completed Ben Nevis by around 1700.  Driving down to Wasdale Head to climb Scafell Pike at this time should avoid traffic around Glasgow and Carlisle. Scafell Pike is then climbed in the dark so consider hiring one of our professional, local guides to take care of the navigation for you click here for details

This option also has the advantage of allowing plenty of time to get home after the finish.

1200   Commence challenge with ascent of Ben Nevis.

1700   Finish Ben Nevis and drive to Scafell Pike

2300   Arrive Wasdale Head and start climbing Scafell Pike

0330   Finish Scafell Pike and drive to Snowdon

0800   Arrive Llanberis and start climbing Snowdon

1159   Finish at base of Snowdon.  Challenge complete

 

Option 3 – Walk (mostly) in daylight

This is the most popular option but usually means starting your challenge soon after travelling to Fort William.  The bonus is that as Ben Nevis is climbed in the evening, the drive to Wasdale Head fits with sleep patterns and Scafell Pike is climbed in the early morning light (in summer). Snowdon is also climbed in daylight. The downside is that on a weekday challenge you’ll probably hit traffic on the drive to North Wales.

1700   Commence challenge with ascent of Ben Nevis.

2200   Finish Ben Nevis and drive to Scafell Pike

0400   Arrive Wasdale Head and start climbing Scafell Pike

0830   Finish Scafell Pike and start drive to Snowdon

1300   Arrive Llanberis and start climbing Snowdon

1659   Finish at base of Snowdon.  Challenge complete.