/ Go Activities - Three Peaks Challenge, purely commercial

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Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
Putting this in Off Belay as it is likely to get out of hand pretty quickly.

I spotted in a leaflet from Go Outdoors that they now seem to be acting as an agent for various "treat yourself to an activity" type things - you know, mucking about in a 4x4, laser clay pigeon shooting, paddling down a river. All well and good.

BUT
One of the "adventures" on offer is the "3 Peaks Challenge" - yes that one. I was surprised to see anyone offering it as a purely commercial venture given that even charity fundraisers come in for some flak. I left some courteous comments on their website, mostly linking to Jill Hudson's little piece she wrote for the BMC
http://www.thebmc.co.uk/three-peaks-challenge

Feel free to back me up (or indeed offer alternative views!)

See
http://www.goactivities.co.uk/activity-search-results?c1=mountains&c2=outdoorchallenges#/?c1=mountai...

where it is offered as "3 Peaks Challenge", "Open 3 Peaks Challenge" and "National 3 Peaks Challenge". I think the first two are with the same operator. The third even has the gall to mention that a lot of people at least do it for charity!

Given that the overall goactivities thing also offers up the Yorkshire 3 Peaks (much cheaper too!), I'm perplexed.
Wonrek - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: Didn't see anywhere that it was prohibiting you doing it to raise funds for your chosen charity?

You're simply paying for the logistics of doing the challenge. You could turn your thinking on its head and see that small groups may well chose to join this rather than organising it themselves which potentially could reduce the overall number of vehicles and the volume of groups?

I looked into doing it with a friend last year but the logistics and cost of simply staging it ourselves was prohibitive. Had we known about something like this then we might have gone ahead after all.

I understand the problems that the 3PC brings with it but that doesn't mean that people shoud stop altogether, more to become more aware and minimise the potential impact.



Or GO are commercialising the mountains just the same as every outdoor centre or professional guide already are?

Cx
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Clears:

You make good points, thank you - I did say I'd welcome alternative views and that I was perplexed rather than vexed.

Aside from the impact issues, I think it's just an unsatisfying challenge. I am guilty of having done it myself, as driver of a yellow uni minibus and not even for charity, so that's as bad as it gets really (I was unaware of the sensitive issues at the time). I didn't end up thinking "wow, I've done a good satisfying challenge", it was more "wow I am glad we didn't crash the minibus"
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
goactivities website seems to be down at the moment!

FWIW I also didn't put a finger-wagging rant there - I just linked to the BMC article and made a comment similar to my previous one here (minus the "uni group / yellow minibus, 'glad we didn't crash'" aspect
Sir Chasm - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: Are you anti people being guided up hills in general? Or is it just the 24 hour aspect that you don't approve of?
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

It's not about my "approval", but yes I'd say the 24 hour aspect irks me - I know from experience that this makes it more of a driving-when-tired challenge than anything else. Maybe this goactivities thing is a GOOD thing in that respect, if there is organised driving arranged by the operators to run safely in shifts.
highclimber - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: For me it's just plain wrong. it's a pointless challenge (and I use the term 'challenge' loosely) that creates an extra burden on the paths and eco system that is already stressed from the 1000's of feet that trample all over it each year and one company profiteering with seeming to put anything back is just another nail in the coffin.
ceri - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: I think there's also the aspect of: is walking knackered and in the dark really the best way to enjoy these lovely mountains?
Environmental impact of driving so far (all the way to Fort William for a few hours walk)
Risk of accidents increased due to tired/dark

SO for me, it's definitely the 24 hour aspect that does not sit comfortably.
David Hooper - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber: But without going into the rights and wrongs of it, they ARE a commercial company, and there is a big demand from a non hillwalking/mountaineering public who have heard of this event and want bragging rights around the office water cooler.

The market is there, why shouldnt a commercial company try to get their slice of the cake. This time of year the Capel Curig pubs are full of proud "3 Peakers" and "14 Peakers" finishing their challenge. WHo knows maybe some will return,get the bug and enjoy our mountains responsibly.

Im not defending the 3 Peaks,for reasons well documented elsewhere I find it pretty pointless, stupid and environmentally unsound.

But private company,niche in market, recession, good luck to them I say as long as they operate in as low impact a way as possible.
Trangia - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I think Jill Hudson makes a valid point in that the "real" Three Peaks Challenge should be done by sailing boat and on foot with no use of vehicles.

That is a real challenge - the only one I would be prepared to recognise as an achievement worthy of sponsorship for charity. As she very ably points out using vehicles and heavy footfall causes more damage than good.
Sir Chasm - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Trangia: Yes, it's an excellent point. Perhaps we should extend the idea to climbing trips, it'll certainly keep the hills quieter.
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
Blue Straggler kicks off reasonable courteous informed debate! Shock horror :-)
Double Knee Bar - on 17 Jul 2012
I can understand there being problems with groups of 100s trampling up and down at the same time, but do people still have a problem with small guided groups of up to half a dozen? It gets people in to the mountains and introduces them to this amazing environment that we enjoy all of the time.
MG - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Trangia) Yes, it's an excellent point. Perhaps we should extend the idea to climbing trips, it'll certainly keep the hills quieter.

Come on, it is a fair point. The 3 peaks is a pretty artificial challenge given the amount of driving involved. It also results in all sorts of problems due to the large numbers concentrated on one or two routes at the same time. Last June I was really shocked at the numbers on Ben Nevis (which given the track could just about cope - I doubt Sca Fell Pike is quite as robust.)

Scarab9 - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> Come on, it is a fair point. The 3 peaks is a pretty artificial challenge given the amount of driving involved. It also results in all sorts of problems due to the large numbers concentrated on one or two routes at the same time. Last June I was really shocked at the numbers on Ben Nevis (which given the track could just about cope - I doubt Sca Fell Pike is quite as robust.)

don't feed the troll..
Sir Chasm is an angry person who just likes to play devils advocate (how he may consider it but what is actually just making nasty comments in response to every innocent post made).

As for OP, I think it's difficult. As people who love the mountains we obviously want to see minimal impact yet enjoy them ourselves. It's not for us to say that the thousands of rookies/tourists (whatever you want to call them) want to enjoy them in their way too, and walking up a mountain isn't an overly destructive thing to do in comparison to what we do....walk up a mountain....
It's things like the litter that is the worst thing. It would be good to see these companies keeping control of their groups to minimise the impact, educating them on the right way to behave and if not directly putting money back in (lets face it, when money is tight it's often hard to feel charitable) then at least encouraging donations from their customers.
Sir Chasm - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to MG: An artificial challenge? Yes, we can't be having any of those.
I wonder what proportion of 3 peak ascendees the 3 peakers make up.
highclimber - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to highclimber) But without going into the rights and wrongs of it, they ARE a commercial company,
>
>
> But private company,niche in market, recession, good luck to them I say as long as they operate in as low impact a way as possible.

therein lies the crux of the issue - there's no official guidelines that any company (charitable or otherwise) has to adhere to. they could conceiveably turn up at the carpark in glen nevis with 5 bus loads of walkers each paying near 300 (according to Blue's link) with no inclination to put anything back into the upkeep of the paths etc.
I understand the NT's reasons behind not accepting money off organisations as it's tantamount to condoning it but something has to give.
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Aside from the impact issues, I think it's just an unsatisfying challenge.

Indeed - but that is just your opinion, and mine too as it happens, but many others clearly think differently.
Milesy - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:

I can't find the exact quote, but does the Land Reform Act in Scotland not state that the Outdoor Access Code must be followed in order for the Act to have legal ground, and that the code mentions something about the maximum number of people in a group.
MG - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> I can't find the exact quote, but does the Land Reform Act in Scotland not state that the Outdoor Access Code must be followed in order for the Act to have legal ground, and that the code mentions something about the maximum number of people in a group.

It's here. Nothing about numbers but you have to be "responsible", which probably adds up to much the same.

www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/2/part/1/chapter/1
Ramblin dave - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to highclimber) But without going into the rights and wrongs of it, they ARE a commercial company, and there is a big demand from a non hillwalking/mountaineering public who have heard of this event and want bragging rights around the office water cooler.

Without going into any of the other issues, I think this is a fairly weak argument - the commercial organisations that are profiting from running these trips aren't just satisfying an existing demand, they're actively promoting it as an awesome experience and a cool thing that everyone should do.

And I think it's different from guiding or instruction, in that it's not encouraging people to develop their interest in the outdoors, it's getting them to quickly charge around it to get a tick on their "hundred things to do before you die"...
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave: I think that is a bit disingenuous. I think we (the established outdoor enthusiasts) need to get off our high horses about the idea that going out for a jolly ramble / climb should be some sort of spiritual cathartic experience. What is the difference between going for a one off hike up the highest mountain or going quad biking or paint balling on a stag do? Nothing. There is a demand and if you were a company offering to satisfy that demand surely you would be promoting it as an "awesome" experience? What's more, those who go on these trips quite probably do find it to be an awesome experience.
gethin_allen on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
I think we should be targeting the people doing the 3 peaks to be a bit more imaginative with their charity challenges, done with a dedicated driver or two the three peaks isn't really much of a challenge, there are dozens of larger and less popular mountains than scafel in the UK (mostly in Scotland).
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
> done with a dedicated driver or two the three peaks isn't really much of a challenge

I think it probably is for those who do it. One man's walk in the park is another's goal in life.
sheep - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
I doubt Sca Fell Pike is quite as robust.)


A good article here about the pressure on Scafell Pike...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-18785590

ewww...

Sir Chasm - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: As some people don't like the driving involved, I doubt that encouraging all these (largely England based, I guess) organisations to drive to Scotland is going to help much.
sheep - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I met a middle-aged couple up there recently who were doing the 3 Peaks as part of a week's holiday.

Much more sensible way to go, imo.
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)
> [...]
>
> I think it probably is for those who do it. One man's walk in the park is another's goal in life.

That is a fair comment and it would do some of the apparently hardcore mountaineers posting on this thread some good to take pause and think about that.
speekingleesh - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> I think we (the established outdoor enthusiasts) need to get off our high horses about the idea that going out for a jolly ramble / climb should be some sort of spiritual cathartic experience. What is the difference between going for a one off hike up the highest mountain or going quad biking or paint balling on a stag do? Nothing.

This always comes up but as far as I can see the main arguments against the three peaks challenge are not of the "not proper walkers" type but far more pragmatic.

The fact is it generates much larger negative externalities than if the participants had just walked up the three mountains separately over the course of a year. Someone somewhere will end up paying for the extra path erosion, rubbish collection etc etc and it doesn't seem to be coming out of the profits of the companies promoting the challenge.
Mike Stretford - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) What is the difference between going for a one off hike up the highest mountain or going quad biking or paint balling on a stag do?

The latter 2 will be more fun!

I'm not really arsed but it's a shame someone can't get a hiking challenge that would be more fun and less artificial (IMO), to stick in the general publics imagination.

ads.ukclimbing.com
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to speekingleesh: All fair points, but I think we are going to just have to accept that people are going to want to walk up the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. I would rather see commercial companies take the strain because at least you can negotiate with them or as a last resort, legislate them. This is certainly much easier than trying to educate the masses who don't really care what happens so long as they get up and down in one piece. Pushing the companies out of business would only push people to do this off their own bat at which point, the only choice you have is to either do our best under the current circumstances (which isn't really working) or ban these three mountains to everyone.
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Papillon:

> The latter 2 will be more fun!
>
> I'm not really arsed but it's a shame someone can't get a hiking challenge that would be more fun and less artificial (IMO), to stick in the general publics imagination.

Alas, all your own personal opinion. One of my colleagues walked up Snowdon the other month. One of the best days out he has had ever! I challenge you to persuade him otherwise. It took him all day and he loved every minute. Just because you would find that dull does not mean everyone does.
rallymania - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

how about then

all the companies offering this "awesome challenge" contribute to a trade body who organise monday litter collections over the summer period and donate some materials to local path repair volenteers?

would that help ease some of the strain, or would that actually make it worse by "legitimising" it? (ie it's already happening so atleast encourage / force the compaies involved to help manage the litter / erosion?

just musing really
speekingleesh - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> All fair points, but I think we are going to just have to accept that people are going to want to walk up the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales.

For sure.

> Pushing the companies out of business would only push people to do this off their own bat...

Hmm I don't think I agree with this. I would suggest that the sort of person paying ~300 quid to do this is going to be someone who isn't capable (or isn't confident enough) to pull it off through their own planning and organization. I suspect a lot of people would therefore just find something else to do for their charity drive/office bragging/spare weekend.

Also I personally don't think its the absolute numbers that are so much the problem. More the concentrating of these numbers into massive groups, along with the attitude of "I've paid for this/doing it for 'a good cause', so I'll defaecate where I like."
highclimber - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
>
> how about then
>
> all the companies offering this "awesome challenge" contribute to a trade body who organise monday litter collections over the summer period and donate some materials to local path repair volenteers?
>
> would that help ease some of the strain, or would that actually make it worse by "legitimising" it? (ie it's already happening so atleast encourage / force the compaies involved to help manage the litter / erosion?
>
> just musing really

it's a catch 22 situation as far as paying third parties to do the 'clean up' as it sort of is condoning it but it's not going to happen any other way. That said, I was halfway up Scafell last month and there was a small group of people with litter picking tongs and bin bags full of rubbish from the summit - they were true volunteers in that they weren't doing it for any charity or organisation, but these good samaritans arent going to keep doing it if big organisation are taking advantage of the situation.
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
There are assumptions being made by a number of people posting here:

1) Commercial venture = large group;
2) Commercial venture = lots of people littering and defecating

Someone mentioned legislation for organised commercial groups, which is a good point. It is entirely possible that the operators, being seen by the group as being "in charge", are able to MORE strongly communicate the sensitivity of the environment and the importance of "leave only footsteps, take only memories" than are 3 mates in a car doing it off their own back.


Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:
>
>
> I would suggest that the sort of person paying ~300 quid to do this is going to be someone who isn't capable (or isn't confident enough) to pull it off through their own planning and organization.

There is that, but then it seems these people have to be able to be at Fort William at 10am on a Saturday and to then make their way home from Llanberis a day later. That takes a bit of organising in itself! OK it's not the same as having to confidence to get up the mountains but still...
Mike Stretford - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> Alas, all your own personal opinion. One of my colleagues walked up Snowdon the other month. One of the best days out he has had ever! I challenge you to persuade him otherwise. It took him all day and he loved every minute. Just because you would find that dull does not mean everyone does.


No, no no no no. I should have been clearer. The walk up Snowdon is great, as is all of the peaks. I'd rather be doing anyone of them right now than sitting here. It's the drive inbetween to fit this time limit that is silly and would spoil to the enjoyment of the walk (IMO).

speekingleesh - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
>
> There is that, but then it seems these people have to be able to be at Fort William at 10am on a Saturday and to then make their way home from Llanberis a day later.

Oh good, at least they are promoting the rail industry :).
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Can anyone get on the goactivities website? I'm worried that it has collapsed under the weight of my very mild and non-judgemental comments that I left on it!
Wiley Coyote - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I don't buy the idea that if companies/charities did not organise and promote the 3 Peaks large numbers of people would do it anyway. That's like saying that if holiday companies stopped offerring all-inclusive package tours to Cancun people would go anyway. A handful might but not in the vast numbers seen at the moment and it's the same with the 3 Peaks.
The other poor sods who are being forgotten in this are those who live in Borrowdale/Wasdale who because of the timing and logistics end up with their sleep ruined weekend after weekend in mid-summer. The charities and commercial companies who organise the trips need to realise they are cashing in on residents' misery. How would you like someone to organise an early hours sponsored walk outside your house every Friday and Saturday from June to August?I think I'd probably shoot someone!


MG - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
I think I'd probably shoot someone!

Or possibly find you tractor breaks down repeatedly across the car park entrance.
EeeByGum - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote: So are you suggesting that all commercial companies / charities should be banned from doing it? And if so, how do you separate out private companies from a group of mates who have hired a 50 seat coach to do it?

Where there is demand, there is someone to serve that demand.
Wiley Coyote - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote) So are you suggesting that all commercial companies / charities should be banned from doing it?

I'm suggesting anyone be banned from anything. By and large I'm not much in favour of banning things I am just hoping that some people might just stop and think for a minute (I think that really that's all it should take) and say: "Maybe this is not such a good thing after all and we really ought to find a less disruptive way of making money." I believe it's called Doing the Right Thing and surely charities at least oughtto be open to that idea. Of course I do have the option of cutting up my Go Outdoors card and posting it back to them with the reasons why.
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> The other poor sods who are being forgotten in this are those who live in Borrowdale/Wasdale who because of the timing and logistics end up with their sleep ruined weekend after weekend in mid-summer.

Are they being forgotten? It's them that I am thinking about more than anything else - I thought the BMC article covered that?
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
> [...]
>
> Are they being forgotten? It's them that I am thinking about more than anything else - I thought the BMC article covered that?


I stand corrected. The BMC article does mention congestion, noise and mess at Wasdale, and a lack of contribution to the local pubs etc, but does not mention the residents - it reads as if the only people suffering from the congestion, noise and mess are the participants (and I'm still wondering why 300 firemen would need 70 minibuses, unless they are all very very fat firement)
Wiley Coyote - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I was thinking more of this thread which (not surprisingly, given the nature of the site) was concentrating on the effect on the hills rather than the locals, including all those that have a stream of cars, vans and buses going past for much of the night.
Blue Straggler - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Yes, good on you for you raising the issue - for me it went without saying so I guess I somehow assumed that people had been talking about (or I just tie it in with general "despoilment of environment")
Ramblin dave - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
>
> I don't buy the idea that if companies/charities did not organise and promote the 3 Peaks large numbers of people would do it anyway. That's like saying that if holiday companies stopped offerring all-inclusive package tours to Cancun people would go anyway. A handful might but not in the vast numbers seen at the moment and it's the same with the 3 Peaks.

Yes, agree. The fact that it's being marketed to people as a cool but accessible one-off challenge has to vastly increase the numbers of people doing it. And I think that if it turns out that there's money to be made offering people a Three Peaks Challenge package deal, and if people shrug their shoulders and say "fair enough, got to make your money somehow" then there are going to be more people doing the same thing and hence more marketing.
daviesp2 - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Wiley Coyote: Whilst I waited for my colleagues to return to the car park at Pen-y-Pass on Sunday morning, I was facinated by the conversation between several of the 3 Peakers minibus drivers comparing scrapes along their vehicles from charging along the narrow lanes in Wasdale, meeting oncoming traffic. The car park was absolute mahem at 7:30am!
Clint86 - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: I met two cyclists in Chester who were doing LEJOG via the 3 Peaks. Quite a good way to do it if you are after ticks.
speekingleesh - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote) So are you suggesting that all commercial companies / charities should be banned from doing it?

Of course not. Not only would a ban be impossible to enforce it would also be fundamentally wrong. But since a large part of the reason people do it is because they think its something they can boast about one approach would be to be generally derisive of it as an achievement (not all that hard since the organised walks are a test of walking in a line for 16 hrs) and a blanket refusal to sponsor any one doing it.

Of course the problem is that whenever anyone takes that approach on these forums they are accused of being elitist and derisive of others life goals :)

Offwidth - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

More links expresssing concerns:

http://ben-nevis.com/three_peaks/three-peaks-criticisms.php

http://www.wasdale-mountain-rescue.org.uk/3 peaks home.htm

http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/Resources/Institute of Fundraising/Codes/OFiUK Consultation Draft Nov 09.doc

(The last link is dead but someone might know where it went)

I dont care if its commercial or not: I think the climbing community should actively discourage this particular 24 hour 'race' because of the very vaid concerns raised. I have much fewer issues if its held over 2 days with good access to local services. There is of course almost a cottage industry around recongnising the concerns of the 24 hour version and taking your money to help alleviate some of them (the irony just pours out).
Pete Cook - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler: To think that anything to do with charities is freely given would be wrong. There are plenty of companies/business solely making money from the charity market by supplying marketing staff and the such like.

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/charity_fundraiser_salary.htm
Gareth and Kim - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Clears:

Why?? It isn't a real challenge any more. In the days when it was walked and sailed, then fine. Drive and walk?! Currently, it is all about the need to be able to say "I did this". Sad, springs to mind. Go and do a'challenge' that you have thought of. Or, if you haven't any immagination, and you haven't already done it, the Yorkshire Three. At least you are doing it on foot and not spending hours driving. Currently, the the national three peaks falls into a similar category as the 'climb' up Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail and Everest Base Camp!

But whatever you do, do it with a few people not 2-300! The mountains cannot cope!
SimonMH - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to Clint86: A few years ago [well 2005], we were lucky enough to get permission off our Head teacher to cycle the 3 Peaks with a group of Year 10's [15 year olds] and it was one of the best challenges we have ever done [we have done LEJOG, the 3 Peaks in 5 days, cycling to Ben Nevis and climbing it and the South Downs by bike in 4 days.] We stayed at the Pen-y-Pas YH for our first night, then climbed Snowdon and rode off to our second YH at Crib Goch. Then Chester, Garstang and Langdale camp site. Did Scafell and on to Honnister where our bikes had been transferred to. Hoddam Castle, New Lanark, Ardgarten, Glencoe, and Fort William via the climbing Wall at the Ice Factor, Kinlochleven. Final day climbed Ben Nevis. As an alternative, I would recommend going over to the Isle of Arran, staying at Lochranza, then Oban and on to Fort William. 50 to 60 miles a day, 440 in total and we managed to raise 2,000 for charity. Not bad for 8 students. It involved a lot of commitment from the students, but it gave them something they will value for the rest of their lives, and which future employers will find is almost unique amongst prospective candidates for jobs. Now that, though I am obviously biased, is a challenge that should be supported, having much less environmental impact, puts money back into the local economy, and sets a pretty good example to others.
NorthernGrit - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to SimonMH:

While I agree that your impact will have been minimal in comparison (and it sounds like great fun) why specifically those three hills?

These big sponsored challenges aren't going to go away, but trudging hundreds of people up the same old paths is unsustainable, not to mention much of the original 'challenge' aspect is lost anyway. People simply need to be more imaginative.

A friend of mine works for a water company and wateraid run a Munro challenge which aims to put a team (of two or three people) on top of every munro on the same day. This seems to be the sort of thinking which is needed. Now obviously if every company or group decided to do the Munro challenge then this would cause problems with that challenge in the future but I commend Wateraid's attempt to do something different and minimise impact.
EeeByGum - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to Gareth and Kim: Assumptions dear Gareth and Kim. Assumptions. You say that doing the three peaks is totally unoriginal, but doing the Yorkshire three is acceptable. Why so? After all, neither are new, original or not done before. And if you drive up from London to do the Yorkshire Three, is that some how less of a challenge than if you were to stroll over from Settle because of the travel involved?

And finally, who are you to say that it is no longer a challenge? Some folks find simply walking a challenge. Others find climbing the hardest walls in the land a bit of a challenge. The Three Peaks, whether you like it or not is a challenge to many. If it wasn't, why would people want to do it? And please don't roll out the old "because they want to brag about it" trick. I know a number of people who have done it and none of them brag, but they are all pretty pleased that they were able to overcome what was, for them, a considerable personal challenge.
jfmchivall - on 25 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I think there should be a gate on the Wasdale road which is locked from 10pm to 6am - residents and emergency services would have the key/code, 3 peaks operators would not. That would stop the 24hr/48hr silliness.
robw007 - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

This is a pretty interesting debate and one which reading through the chain has fair points on all 'sides'.

But for a range of reasons the challenge just seems 'wrong' to me. Possible because the groups involved are usually head down trying to tramp up a hill at some strange hour of the day oblivious to their surroundings. This is the nature of a 'challendge' however and I am sure we have all forgotten about the niceties of the environment in which we accept amd meet these challeneges during their undertaking?

But thats up to the competitior - I suppose I am more concerned about impact on the neighbouring communities - and here we really do need to take a more lateral approach to solving the issues.

Seperated car parks - access during certain times - applications for keys to gates etc etc.

If you are going to do this challenege then I dont see why it cannot be properly managed and designed so that it works in harmony with the environment it is utilising.
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Clint86 - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to robw007: Travelling to an environment also deserves more attention. Perhaps more slowly, to nearer places, less often, would benefit us all, and the environment we pass through.
Simon Caldwell - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to Clint86:
> Perhaps more slowly, to nearer places, less often

Definitely.

For other people, of course, not for me.
Clint86 - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to Toreador: Yep, they reckon our me me me society is the basis of all our troubles.

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