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Fri 14 Sep - Sun 16 Sep 2018

In aid of Compassion UK

Compassion UK

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Why book with Charity Challenge

How do we manage the 24 hour aspect of this challenge?

Level of Difficulty

Clothing and Equipment

Training

Money

Insurance

Group size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Responsible Tourism

Getting There

Accommodation

Food and Drink

Toilets

Challenge Timings

Safety

Emergencies

Why book with Charity Challenge

  • Everything included from the moment you arrive. Unlike other operators we include everything from accommodation, breakfast first thing in the morning, dinner enroute to Scafell Pike, transfers to the start of the trek and back again and plenty of lunch and snacks whilst on the trek.
  • The very best Mountain Leaders, who are fully qualified, highly experienced, knowledgeable and fun. They will do everything to help you complete the challenge and have a great time doing it.
  • We also make sure we use a locally based leader for each mountain. Not only do they have local knowledge, but they will always be fresh to deal with any difficulties, making sure your safety is always looked after.
  • We used high quality mini-coaches with plenty of room and professional drivers. This challenge involves a lot of time on the bus and we believe that having a little bit of extra comfort helps everyone to have the best chance to rest between each of the peaks.
  • Bus transfer to/from Chester train station included in the cost. Let us make travelling to/from this challenge as easy as possible for you.
  • Ethical consideration. We listened to recent feedback from the areas visited on the National 3 Peaks and have altered our itinerary to minimise the negative impact we might have and to maximise the positive impacts.
  • The highest quality National 3 Peaks experience on the market!

How do we manage the 24 hour aspect of this challenge?

This challenge is famously attempted within a 24 hour period. Charity Challenge view this time period as being from when you begin the trek on Ben Nevis, to when you then reach the summit of Snowdon.

However, it is important that whilst we shall attempt to facilitate you completed the challenge in this way there are a number of factors that often impact upon this timing.

  • The ability of the group. We want all participants to complete the challenge, and have a great time doing this. To this end we run this challenge as a 'group challenge' and we encourage you all to help and support each other to complete the challenge together.
  • The traffic on the roads. We will never ask our drivers to drive in an unsafe fashion, or to drive without the necessary rest periods.

Your safety will always be our number one priority, and we ask you to always respect any decisions our leaders make regarding group management during the challenge.

Level of Difficulty

The National 3 Peaks challenge is graded as tough. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are looking to take on an iconic challenge that will test you both physically and mentally over an extended period of time. Ideally you will be comfortable completing prolonged periods of exercise and have experience of hill walking in the UK (and if you don’t have this level just now, that’s what training is for!)

You can tell your supporters that on your National 3 Peaks Challenge you will be:

  • Trekking for around 18 hours during the challenge.
  • Covering over 28 miles of undulating terrain. Over a full marathon distance, but with 3 hills!
  • Ascending a total of 3000m in a single day. Almost the same amount of ascent as summiting Kilimanjaro!
  • Summiting the 3  highest hills in the UK, Ben Nevis (1344m) Scafell Pike (977m) and Snowdon (1085m)

Clothing and Equipment

During this challenge you will be able to leave any change of clothes, or additional equipment, on the bus whilst you climb each peak. However, please keep additional clothing to an absolute minimum as space on the bus is limited.

Good quality and durable kit could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof and well-worn in boots will be indispensable. The terrain is uneven and can be very rough, so it is vital that you use a strong pair of canvas or leather boots with good ankle support rather than trekking trainers for this challenge. This should be coupled with good quality walking socks.

During this challenge you will be required to walk at night and so a good quality headtorch (with spare batteries) is absolutely essential. We recommend a headtorch to enable you to keep both hands free.

The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated - so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, as well as technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. We would like to emphasise that jeans are not recommended for this challenge. Walking poles are also recommended as a preventative, as well as for anyone with any pre-existing leg injuries or niggles.

A full kit list for this challenge can be found here. Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Training

The National 3 Peaks challenge involves early mornings, long days and sustained periods of ascents and descents. It is certainly not for the fainthearted, and it should ideally be undertaken by someone who has trained on similar terrain within the UK. The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, hill walking. However, if you do not have the luxury of living near the hills, then the stairs at home (or an office block) are a great place to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 2-4 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up as suggested. Remember to use the walking boots that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in, and take the daysack that you will be using during the challenge.

The National 3 Peaks challenge is a real endurance event and you should gear your training towards being comfortable doing exercise for prolonged periods of time. Recovery times are also important to consider, and again you should structure your training so that you are comfortable exercising again after only a few hours rest.

There is no substitute for walking in the hills so try if possible to get out on a weekend and train in an area with steep hills. You should progress to training with your boots on from week 4 at the latest, but preferably from week 1. The more you exercise before the expedition, the more you will get out of it.

Money

During the trek there will be opportunities to purchase some extra snacks or a cup of tea, for which you shouldn’t need more than £20 excluding your joining and returning home travel costs. You will be able to stop in service stations along the way if necessary, where credit or debit cards can also be used.

Insurance

We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. Therefore the main thing that you will not be covered for is cancellation, and you can read our cancellation policy in our terms and conditions by clicking here. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.

Group size

Our minimum group size for this challenge is 6 and the maximum is 14. There will be a mountain leader throughout the challenge coordinating, an additional mountain leader on each hill, and a professional driver.

Leadership

We employ experienced and fully qualified Mountain Leaders to accompany and lead you. The mountain leaders are first aid qualified and have extensive experience in leading expeditions throughout Britain and overseas. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. They will be carrying full safety equipment and mountain first aid kits with them at all times.

We also make sure that we use a local leader on each mountain. These leaders not only have great local knowledge, but they will also join the group fresh. Having fresh leaders is vital to maintaining high standards of safety.

Climate

As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times erratic, so being prepared is the key! We will run this challenge between June and September, and although the summer months of June-August should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Snow can frequently still be seen on Ben Nevis in the middle of the summer. Please check the weather forecasts to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for both warm and sunny temperatures as well as wind and downpours.

Terrain

Despite its location in the UK, the difficulty of this trek should not be underestimated as it includes two day of hiking, with tough ascents and descents. The terrain will be varied and the ascents and descents exhausting at times, but the rewards and the views will be unforgettable.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Getting There

Challengers will be meeting at approximately 11am (we will confirm this one month prior to the challenge date) at Chester train Station, which has regular train services across the UK. Here you’ll meet up with the team before departing by road for Fort William in Scotland, where the group will be staying at an overnight hotel.

Accommodation

You will spend the first night in either hostel style same sex dormitories or in twin share hotel accommodation in Fort William, Scotland. Accommodation depends upon the precise group size.

On the Saturday night you will need to sleep on the bus between Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

Food and Drink

All meals while on the challenge are provided, from breakfast on the first morning, to lunch on the final day climbing Snowdon. You should also think about packing some extra snacks (chocolate, nuts, snack bars etc) to keep you going while on the challenge.

Please note that dinner on the drive from Chester to Fort William is not included. The bus will stop when we are north of Glasgow and you will have the opportunity to eat a proper meal at a local pub or cafe.

Toilets

There will be bathroom facilities at the beginning and end of climb; however during the challenge such facilities will be limited to the great outdoors.

Challenge Timings

On the first day of the challenge, the group will set out very early in the morning (approx. 5am) to climb Ben Nevis. It usually take between 6-7 hours walking for each mountain.

After Ben Nevis we will drive to Scafell Pike, arriving in time to begin our summit bid by early evening. After descending back down you will then have the opportunity to try and catch some sleep as we drive to Snowdon to begin our ascent by mid-morning.  The challenge will conclude late afternoon/early evening by returning to Chester train station.

Please note, that whilst we do everything to stick to these timings, the National 3 Peaks timings can be very difficult to guarantee. Slow moving groups or traffic can have significant timings. In particular, please take this into account when planning your return journey at the end of the challenge.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  •  This is a significant physical challenge over a prolonged period of time. Please make sure that your fitness level is suitable to meeting this challenge.
  •  This challenge involves walked at night. Please come prepared for this by bringing a headtorch with spare batteries.
  • You will be climbing the 3 highest mountains in the UK and the weather between each mountain can vary enormously. Please come prepared with clothing and kit for all weather.
  •  Please make sure you always wear a seatbelt whilst travelling on the bus.

Emergencies

Your walk leader team are trained to deal with emergency situations in remote areas and will be carrying a mobile phone in case the emergency services need to be contacted. The event is not run as a race and you will never be encouraged to walk at a pace ‘beyond your ability’. There will always be a wide variety in people’s walking abilities which will be carefully managed by the leader team. This team will always keep the group together for maximum safety on each peak and set a sensible pace for all to achieve this challenge within this time period.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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