/ Why not do the 3 peaks challenge?

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mountainmadness on 31 Oct 2012

There's a fundraising team where I work that have decided to do the 3 peaks challenge (3pc). I'm aware that this is a sensitive topic due to various factors. Could you please help me formulate an arguement against this activity. My thoughts so far are:

1) The 3pc places serious strain on each of the mountains due to the number taking part;
2) Many residents local to each mountain are getting thoroughly pissed off at minibuses driving around at god-knows-what hour of the night, with accompanying noise and disruption;
4) There are piles of litter left at each car park;
5) The eco footprint of this activity is huge given the mileage covered;
6) There are much better challenges that could be arranged.

I did the challenge in the mid 80's, before it was fashionable, and it was quite possibly the most boring activity I have done. The only challenge was sitting in a car for 30 hours (incl. getting to and from the start/finish).

So, have I missed any pointers here?

Thanks in advance as I'll be away from my desk for the day so will pick this up again tonight.
Sir Chasm - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: Troll, 0/10.
IainRUK - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: Covered most, there

TBH for me the main reason is its just not that much of a challenge as its mainly in the car.. I stopped guiding on it, and it was a big pay day as I felt I was selling my soul.. and guiding people who often didn't enjoy it.. but then again my last job was with the boys in blue and a genuinely pretty horrible bunch..

The Yorkshire 3 peaks is a much greater challenge, so is running something like Snowdonia marathon.

Welsh 10000m peaks.

There's just so many better challenges. Even in Wales the 3 peaks of Snowdon Cader and Pen y Fan, much less diving.
Alyson - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: Sounds like you've got the main points covered! Good luck in getting them to reconsider and pick a more interesting challenge.
Caterham - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

Plus make sure you add that every man and his dog has done it and its easy (other than staying awake) and boring.

Why not suggest some more challenging alternatives. Welsh 3000ers/bob graham round, something like that? Or even something original?

Dave 88 - on 31 Oct 2012
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Caterham:

They could do the boat-based version of the three peaks where you sail between them then run from wherever you're moored to the tops of the hills.
L.A. on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: If they do decide to do it, ask them to take a bin bag each and make part of the 'challenge' to see who can collect the most litter.
TMM - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to mountainmadness) Covered most, there
>

> Welsh 10000m peaks.
>

Now that would be a challenge. I think the train would need some adpatation.
mountainmadness on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Wow a whole 2 minutes before shouting troll, good even by your standards. sheesh, get a life.
mountainmadness on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to everyone other than Sir Castistw*t:

Many thanks, I like the idea of the sailing version, but surely that still places the same strains on locals, hills and basic infastructure.

Maybe the Yorks three peaks? That way at least the local economy benefits from having people camp and eat there.
IainRUK - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Caterham: Welsh 3000ers is way way too much.. we get lots going from 3 peaks > welsh 3000ers.. as both are 24 hr challenges.. different kettle of fish..

Bob Graham.. would kill them.
Ian Hinkins on 31 Oct 2012
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Ian Hinkins:

That's the one - my neighbour did it a few years ago.
Ramblin dave - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Caterham:
> (In reply to mountainmadness)

> Why not suggest some more challenging alternatives. Welsh 3000ers/bob graham round, something like that? Or even something original?

Certainly suggesting more interesting / creative alternatives is going to help you convince people...

Long local walks seem like quite a good idea: equally challenging, less common, ecologically more sound and the sponsors can come along to cheer you on at the end...
Milesy - on 31 Oct 2012
Like the article says, I don't see why the challenge has to involve charging up the hills in whatever weather is about on that particular weekend, with no view and no enjoyment of the hills. Do them under your own steam, at a lesuirly rate on a way up the hill that does not have a big impact on a nice day which involves maybe camping for the night in Fort William and maybe going to the pub or some shops and then do the next hill at your own time another day. Do the 3 peaks like this and you will get a sponsor from me. I refuse to sponsor anyone on an attack of the three hills.
mountainmadness on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

I wouldn't dream of suggesting BGR - I'm only just considering it myself and I'm pretty mountain fit! :-)
Sir Chasm - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: I'm terribly sorry, if only the site had a search facility for questions that have been asked 73 times before.
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Do you have an alter-ego on the site? A second profile?
mountainmadness on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Apology accepted
Sir Chasm - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: No, neither.
gcandlin - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: I know a lot of the locals are royally fed up of this challenge 2. During the weekends through the summer the Yorkshire 3 peaks can often see hundreds of people on it both Saturday and Sunday.

Not saying its not an alternative but it presents many of the same issues you have with the national 3 peaks challenge only less driving.
Allan Young on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

Where is your place of work? I might have some ideas!
GOD - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
> Do you have an alter-ego on the site? A second profile?

Why do you ;-)


Roberttaylor - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: Round of Glencoe in 24 hours (nice do-able walk), Rigby round in 48 hours would both be fun, involve no driving between hills and give nicer days out.

R
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to GOD:

I think my CJD profile is still in existence - it has my logbook attached to it.

I was just wondering whether Sir Chasm had a sunnier disposition skulking somewhere on the site.
IainRUK - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Its possible for fit walkers.. people do it as a holiday.. families do it. Its mainly a sailing challenge time wise.

A great event. However its future is under threat so the more that do it the better. I was at the organisers house yesterday returning my trophies and had a good chat about the future of the race. Its just such a unique event, with a great community. This weekend is the annual dinner and its always good fun. I was hammered their last year.. I think a few were surprised to the leading runners guzzling wine and generally being drunkards.. good event.
Tall Clare - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

It does sound great. My neighbours did it as a race, with a runner (my neighbour did the sailing bit).
Wainers44 - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Caterham)
>
> They could do the boat-based version of the three peaks where you sail between them then run from wherever you're moored to the tops of the hills.

That has to be the only way to do it!! Someday I hope to give that a try but my mate with a boat says its too far for him to sail from the Exe Estuary. Land lubber!!
Lankyman - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: as several others have already said on here why not avoid adding to the problems already caused by an over-concentration of people on both the national and Yorkshire Three Peaks. With a bit of initiative it ought to be possible to come up with alternatives (it might even be fun getting your group to suggest some). I've heard of walkers picking their own set of three - the original Three Peaks was simply the invention of a couple of Victorian teachers from Giggleswick who went for a walk and told their friends about it. In north Lancs I've heard of people doing Arnside Knott, Warton Crag and Farleton as a moderately challenging trio. Also Benson Knott, Lambrigg Fell and The Helm (look 'em up!). Any old three (or four, or five?) that are humanly within walking distance will do.
t.j - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Karl Lunt: The problem is all the challenges that have been suggested are great - and people on here can see that - but if you have no knowledge of the hills then they dont sound so good.

people like doing the three peaks because everyone knows about it and for that same reason its really easy to get sponsorship and others will immediately recognize your 'achievement'. it has become a staple challenge for people in the UK for obvious reasons, the 3 highest peaks sounds good.

theres no shortage of great ways to challenge yourself but if you really want to draw people away from the hills you need something which appeals to the general public and that they understand
Denzil - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: Colleague at work asked me to take him round the 3 peaks - I refused, but instead took him up to the Cairngorms for a weekend. Friday evening camped at Aviemore, Sat-Sun we did Braeriach, overnight at Corrour bothy then Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm.
Ramblin dave - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to t.j:
> (In reply to Karl Lunt) The problem is all the challenges that have been suggested are great - and people on here can see that - but if you have no knowledge of the hills then they dont sound so good.

Agree.

I think that's why locally based challenges are good - not everyone's heard of the Lochaber Round but everyone knows it's a long way from here to wherever...
highclimber - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: I guided on it last year and it confirmed what I already thought - it's a pointless challenge that is both environmentally unsound and not very inspiring.

The biggest challenge for me was trying to get to sleep on the bus.
martinph78 on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:
>

>
> 1) The 3pc places serious strain on each of the mountains due to the number taking part;

Having visited the 3 peaks seprately, at various times of year, I don't see how this is an argument. Bank Holiday, Scafell was rammed with people, I mean totally full, we skirted round and looking back from Lingmel you could see a traffic jam of people queieng to get to teh summit. The summit itself was 10 deep with people trying to stand on the cairn. This has been the same on Snowdon nearly every visit. I really don't see how a minibus of people turning up at 2am is any worse?

> 2) Many residents local to each mountain are getting thoroughly pissed off at minibuses driving around at god-knows-what hour of the night, with accompanying noise and disruption;
> 4) There are piles of litter left at each car park;

These are educational issues that can be overcome. On the summit of Snowdon I have carried down cans of coke, mars bar wrappers, etc etc. Not sure any of it was from 3 peakers. Parking near the Glencoe youth hostel is away from residents and I don't think I was disturbed by returning 3 peakers when I stayed there. In fact I was out chatting with the driver/cook that night. Perhaps similar consideration needs to be made with the other venues? ie a public carpark for cooking your meals insyead of outside someones house.

> 5) The eco footprint of this activity is huge given the mileage covered;

Not sure about that. A minibus of people divided by the miles covered divided by the mountains/areas visited is far less than me driving in my Landy to Ben Nevis one weekend, Snowdon another and Scafell another. My eco footprint, and most of us who have to travel to the Lakes etc. is greater.

> 6) There are much better challenges that could be arranged.

Agreed :)



I've never done the challenge and don't really care for it much,but you can't tar everyone with the same brush (litter and noise), and it's pretty hypocritical to go on about the eco footprint or strain on the mountain when most of us are guilty of that.


Looking on the bright side, if it is as awful as everyone suggests then it might put these challengers off ever stepping foot on a mountain again :p
abcdefg - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

> ... I stopped guiding on it, and it was a big pay day ...

People pay to be *guided* on this thing?

Bloody hell ...
Trangia - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Caterham)
>
> They could do the boat-based version of the three peaks where you sail between them then run from wherever you're moored to the tops of the hills.

That is the true Three Peaks Challenge and the original one.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: You raise some good points

i have done scafell pike a couple of time and on both occasions it was rammed but i cant criticise that as on one occasion, I drove from newark to walk up this mountain, to then drive back again. On my own.

i didnt have shite on the fellside or leave any litter and i camped at the NT campsite and bought some local, erm, french red wine to consume after the walk. ***phew, i think i got away with that***
PATTISON Bill - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: As Team Leader of Wasdale MRT for 22 years I certainly had my fill of 3Peakers mountainmadness has gotit about right.it is no longer a one weekend event but continues right through the year aided and abetted by some outdoor companies making money off the backs of charities whilst claiming to be mountain lovers.Wasdale Head was recently voted as Englands favourite view but is now Europes largest open toilet,the totally inadequate loos provided being overused and unfit for purpose,look behind any bit of cover and on the open fellside and you will inevitably find a turd.The last time I visited the summit of the Pike Iremoved 4 bin bags of rubbish obviously not all 3Peakers but Iwould say most of it.The abomination of a path built some years ago is almost useless and a great scar runs down each side of it so that many peop;e have resorted to using the old breast route.Whilst driving to 2 incidents with blues and twos going I was forced off the road by idiots trying to get down the valley on their way to Snowden.The locals are totally pissed off with the situation and the responsible authorities have simply shuffled the problems around the valley head for years. I have climbed and walked in Wasdale for over60 years but choose to stay away from The Pike.it is no longer the mountain it was.As for raising money most people would give you the sponsorship without destroying the environment what about a sponsored clean uo of the coastline of Britain? I retired as Team Leader 12 years ago and dont miss those calls in the middle of the night at all ,Ponder on these words before you do the 3Peaks and if you still want to do it go in a small well organised group and enjoy the mountains for what they should be ,a place of peace and beauty.Bill Pattison MBE
IainRUK - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to abcdefg:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> [...]
>
> People pay to be *guided* on this thing?
>
> Bloody hell ...

Well its at night, Scafell and even the Ben is a serious undertaking at night.. TBH even on the pyg people stray off the path in places..
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IainRUK - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to PATTISON Bill: Aye its huge in snowdonia, every weekend in June/July there are just minibus loads of people continually being dropped off and marquees set up for the events.. its a massive event.. sort of snowballed now so I can't see how it can really change..
Wingnut - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Caterham:
Or how about a sponsored trig point bag . . . start from work, and bag as many trig points as the team (split as many ways as they feel happy with) can get in a weekend?
patrick_b - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

It's a bit ridiculous to suggest the Three Peaks Yacht Race to a group of novice walkers who just want a fun 24hr day out..

"Stop there, don't hire that minibus, just hire a yacht, some bikes and learn to sail instead".

Surely the Yorkshire 3 Peaks is the obvious - and crucially well-known so likely to get more sponsorship - choice?
IainRUK - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to patrick_b: I dont think people were suggesting they sail.. slightly serious sailing..

Tall Clare - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to patrick_b:

It was me who first mentioned it and I wasn't particularly serious, just offering an alternative. As a challenge walk, I think there are better options than the big 3 peaks.
Simon Caldwell - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> sort of snowballed now so I can't see how it can really change

Well the Yorkshire 3 Peaks used to be similarly over-popular - I remember talk many years ago of restricting numbers somehow, and I have a book suggesting alternative routes - but has now got much less busy (relatively speaking - it's busy, but no more so than other popular hills).

Although I knew about the problems associated with the National 3 Peaks, it was only while at the Saunders this year that I really appreciated how annoying it must be for the locals at Wasdale Head, with minibuses coming and going through the night, slamming doors, and shouted conversations with no effort made to keep the noise down.

To the OP - another possible alternative with the benefit of name recognition would be the Lyke Wake Walk (another long route that's seen its popularity slump in recent years).
dissonance - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to abcdefg:

> People pay to be *guided* on this thing?

Seems fairly sensible if my understanding of the type of peeps doing the three peaks is correct.
Possibly at night, quite often limited hill experience and wanting to get up and down as quickly as possible means having a guide (in the more basic sense of the word) makes sense. Not so much as not doing it but thats separate.

abcdefg - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

Yes fair enough. But in that case, perhaps they ought to remove the word 'Challenge' from the description of the activity.
mountainmadness on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to all:

Many thanks for your replies, it would appear that this is a bigger issue than I first thought. I like the varied suggestions, particularly the Lyke Wake Walk (is that the 'coffin' walk? - don't answer, I'll google it), however my thoughts count for nothing.

I've had an email back from the fundraising team basically saying that as it's already planned we will be going ahead with it, I've since spoken to the CEO about this and copied Bill's email (pretending it was a letter to me -I shouldn't be on UKC ;-)) to all concerened. I've basically been told to wind my neck in.

I'm already looking to get out anyway. :-(
marsbar - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: At least you know you tried.
graeme jackson - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:
>
> 1) The 3pc places serious strain on each of the mountains due to the number taking part;

On the other hand it concentrates them all on just 3 places freeing up the vast majority of much nicer mountains for folk who prefer some solitude.
Steve John B - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

What about the Lakes 3000's instead?
Wainers44 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: You did your best! Any way they would be encouraged to make some effort to offset the impact of doing the thing? Share of sponsorship going to local MRT's for example?
Ridge - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to abcdefg:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> [...]
>
> People pay to be *guided* on this thing?
>
> Bloody hell ...

They certainly do.

In February we were sat in a pub in Clapham, when I overheard: “Yes, I’m
not supposed to say, but Charles was in the SAS. Henry was in the Royal
Marines, he’s been fired out of submarines and everything”.
I looked at Mrs Ridge, she looked at me. Everyone in the pub who wasn’t in
the expensively dressed group in the corner looked at each other, took a
slurp of beer and quietly leaned forward.

“We all know what to do in extreme mountain environments, that’s why it’s
vitally important you obey our directions at all times. Now let’s go
through equipment..” The expensively dressed group of women all took out
identical pink iPhones. The bloke’s spaniel, who had that 1000 yard stare
you only ever see in bomb dogs with too many tours in Helmand, or too many
hours listening to shite in pubs, wandered over to the fire. My own hound
looked on sympathetically and shuffled up to make room by the fire.

“Craghoppers Kiwi superstretch trousers. All the top mountaineers wear
them”. There then followed a list of thick fleeces, thin fleeces,
intermediate fleeces, thick hats, thin hats, intermediate hats. Everyone in
the pub wondered how big the rucksacks would have to be. The pub was silent apart from the tap-tap of manicured fingers on touch screens.

“Now First Aid. We’re all trained combat medics..” I started to get worried
at this point. Admittedly it’s many years since I did combat first aid
training, but I vividly remember a little flipbook with a flowchart thing,
that went:

Is Casualty Breathing?  > No > Casualty is Dead

which I thought might not be wholly appropriate to the Dales. Someone
choked on their beer. My hound laid a consoling paw on the spaniel. The man
fished out a ring on a length of paracord from around his neck. “Your
fingers can swell due to oedema at high altitude”. There was an appreciative murmur from the pub that sounded a bit like a quiet “FFS” to my Black Sheep dulled ears. “ You should always wear your rings like this so we don’t have to cut them off. Now, about boots...”

On the plus side, a group of ladies eventually got to go to the Death Zone after their pre-3 Peaks training weekend in Clapham. *** Adventures no doubt did well out of it, as did the pub, Ellis Brigham’s and the manufacturers of olive green paracord. Plus a free nights entertainment for
the rest of us. So it does have it’s plusses..
Ridge - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ridge:
Sorry about the formatting there!
Tall Clare - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Ridge:

<like>
carl_123 - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

how about the cost of mountain rescue team having to take time off work, their equipment, a helicopter and its fuel, the parts to maintain it and the man hours to fly and repair it well overweighing the £15 raised by group lost in the hills with no map or compass. I know most of the wasdale MRT's time is spent looking for 3 peakers, i imagine it's similar on snowden and nevis
mountainmadness on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to carl_123:
> (In reply to mountainmadness)
>
> how about the cost of mountain rescue team having to take time off work, their equipment, a helicopter and its fuel, the parts to maintain it and the man hours to fly and repair it well overweighing the £15 raised by group lost in the hills with no map or compass. I know most of the wasdale MRT's time is spent looking for 3 peakers, i imagine it's similar on snowden and nevis

Read Bill's post further up - great post.
IainRUK - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to carl_123: I doubt it is in Snowdonia. The Snowdon leg is the easiest and simplest. No doubt there are a few but generally most of the large organised charity events are safely run.

The Scafell leg is potentially the most dangerous as its the least defined path. With the Snowdon and Ben paths you basically just walk up and walk down one path..
DancingOnRock - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness: My cousin did it this year in June. Not really June weather. I think the challenge is for novice walkers to get off the hills alive. By all accounts there were some very unprepared people.

For most of us here a 3000ft mountain isn't particularly daunting. For someone who flies a desk in London and whose most exciting day out was in July when they were 14 and they walked up the Llamberis path, possibly it is a big challenge.

I'm running a marathon on Sunday, going to be cold, wet and hilly. I'm doing it for fun, it will be reasonably hard, my friends will know I've done it. A guy in the office ran the London Marathon this year, thousands of pounds in sponsorship, everyone knows he's done it and he had never run before..... or since...

The London Marathon is the hardest, longest marathon in the world. I think.
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Epic Ebdon - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:

I think there are plenty of better challenges which are much more in the spirit of testing ones walking abilities than the three peaks challenge, which is more a test of driving like a knob than anything else.

1. A few years ago I did Oxfam's trailwalker, which was excellent. It's 100km in 30 hours over the south downs. It's well organised and much more physically demanding than the 3 peaks. It also happens just once a year there, and one will tend to stay in the area for the day before or day after.

2. Why not try and sell them a "real" three peaks - the highest three peaks in the British isles. These are conveniently much closer together than Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, and are significantly higher than Scafell Pike and Snowdon. It means not doing the driving, and probably staying in the area and spending some money there. It's also not too hard to sell to punters - "we're doing the three highest mountains in the UK" is true, and still sounds impressive.

I guess you could perhaps make management at work think about whether they really want to back the three peaks by pointing out the load of driving that needs to be done, with the associated risk - probably more chance there than suggesting that people living in Wasdale don't like it....


Tim
MHutch - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Epic Ebdon:
> (In reply to mountainmadness)
>
> 1. A few years ago I did Oxfam's trailwalker, which was excellent. It's 100km in 30 hours over the south downs. It's well organised and much more physically demanding than the 3 peaks. It also happens just once a year there, and one will tend to stay in the area for the day before or day after.
>
Oxfam also do the 'Trailtrekker', a similar challenge in the South Dales.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/trailtrekker

Not my cup of tea, but might suit the OP's lot.

SimonMH - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to mountainmadness:
I did the 3 Peaks on bikes with a group of Year 10 students, and it was one of the best things we did to raise money. If you were to do it unsupported, it would take a lot longer than the usual hectic 24 hours, but you would see a lot more of the countryside and have a lot more fun into the bargain. Here is a suggested itinerary for anyone of average fitness:
Day 1 climb Snowdon and bike to Betwys YH
Day 2 Betwys to Preston
Day 3 Preston to Langdale
Day 4 Langdale via Scafell Pike to Honnister Pass YH [bikes transported round by van]
Day 5 Honnister to New Lanark [if you want a very long day] Add another day on by stopping at Hoddam Castle.
Day 6 New Lanark to Crianlarich
Day 7 Crianlarich to Glen Nevis
Day 8 Climb the Ben and have a really good drink
Very little environmental impact, using local resources. You will be in stealth mode as cyclists.
If you fancy a detour, go over to Lewis, stop at Lochranza, and ride to Oban and on to Fort William.
You won't regret it.

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