Britain's largest adventure sports company
Book this event   -   Dates and cost   -   Itinerary   -   Route Plans   -   Equipment




Ascend the highest mountains in Northern Ireland, Wales,
England and Scotland over one glorious weekend.


Slieve Donard
Northern Ireland
Ben Nevis
Scotland
Scafell Pike
England
Snowdon
Wales

To ascend the highest peaks in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales is a major Challenge which is rarely undertaken - you'll meet very few people who have completed this event. There are many reasons for attempting the Challenge, whether it be to raise funds for deserving charitable causes, to test yourself against the mountains or simply for the sheer enjoyment of being amongst some of the most dramatic scenery in the World. Whatever your reason for rising to the Challenge it will be one of the most memorable experiences you will have.
 
We would truly appreciate it if you would ask a friend to accompany you on the Challenge. Better still why not ask some friends or workmates to come along and make it a team effort? The more people who take part the better it will be.

When organising The Four Peaks Challenge our main concern was that not only would the event be operated as safely as possible but also that it should be achievable by any reasonably active person with no mountaineering experience. Another large concern was that the event should have no impact on the fragile mountain environment and that there should be no disruption to local residents or farming activities. You are under no pressure at all to reach all, or even any, of the summits.

You are being asked to try your best, that is all anyone can ask.

Good luck and Thank You.

PLAIN SPEAKING 

  • As a continuous walking challenge there is little or no rest (apart from the coach journeys) between mountains.
  • You may encounter cold, wet and windy conditions so you will need to be prepared to carry a complete change of clothing in your rucksack.
  • At any time of the year the weather in the British Mountains can be very unpredictable. It is extremely important that EVERYONE taking part in The Four Peaks Challenge has the correct equipment and clothing.
It is not possible to make it a 24 hour Challenge due to the use of coaches. The total walking distance covered over the entire event is “approximately” 53km or 33 miles.

Transport:
The times on this event are geared so that you will be able to complete the ascent of Scafell Pike during daylight hours.

The event will start the base of Slieve Donard early on Friday morning.

Participants arriving from the mainland:
You will need to arrange to get a flight over to NI on Thursday and then stay in Newcastle (Northern Ireland) on Thursday night.  At the end of the event we will drop you at either Manchester airport or the train station, so you may catch a train or flight home. Contact us for details regarding this if you have any questions.

Participants arriving from the Northern Ireland:
At the end of the event you will be dropped back in Belfast.

Meals:
There are regular meal breaks between each of the mountains except Slieve Donard (so please bring a packed lunch). Packed lunches and bottled water will be handed out at the start of the ascent on each mountain.


Itinerary
We have run this event many times and the schedule we have show below is based on previous events.  Of course everyone has different walking speeds so please understand that the times shown are "very" approximate.
Friday
 
Approx. 8am Ascend Slieve Donard
After the Donard ascent take the coach to Belfast then a flight to Glasgow
Approx. 2pm Arrive in Glasgow and board the coach to Fort William
Approx 7pm.  Ascend Ben Nevis
Saturday
Approx 4am depart from Scotland by coach to The Lake District
Approx. 12noon Ascend Scafell Pike
Approx. 9.30pm Depart from the Lake District by coach to North Wales
Sunday
Approx. 4.30am Ascend Snowdon
Approx. 10am Depart from North Wales by coach to Manchester Airport or Train Station
Approx. 12noon Either board flight back to Belfast or take the train home
End of event

Route Plans
Many experienced hill walkers will inform you (and any one else who'll listen) that “Trig Points” are always sited at the highest point on a hill. This is not true
Triangulation Pillars are positioned so that they can be seen from other “Trig Points” (normally the highest point but not always, as an example the Ben Nevis Trig Point is not at the highest point on the mountain), the angle between them can be used to form a part of a triangle, or other geometric shape. This shape in turn is used by map makers and others to enable them to work out their exact location.  The graphics below show the summit Triangulation Points on each of the Three Peaks. 
Ben Nevis,  highest mountain in Scotland (& Britain)  1,344m (4,408ft)  

The route that we have chosen (there are many) is to follow the footpath up from the bridge by the Achintee car park, towards John’s Wall Corner, then over the 8 zig zags to the summit. We will return down the same path. The average time spent on Ben Nevis is 7 hours.
Scafell Pike, highest mountain in England 978m (3,209ft)
The walk up Scafell Pike starts from just outside (not in) the hamlet of Seatoller and follows the stream (Grains Gill) over Stockley Bridge, then up to the Great End massif. We follow the track up and through Calf Cove and then along the ridge to Scafell Pike. We return down the same track. The  average time walking on this mountain is 7 hours.  
Slieve Donard, highest mountain in Northern Ireland 850m (2,788ft)  



The ascent starts from the Bloody Bridge car park. (By the toilet block) From here we follow the path up to the ford and then upwards along the track past the old quarry. At the Morne Wall we turn right and simply follow the Wall to the summit. We return via the same route. 
Snowdon, highest mountain in Wales 1,085m (3,560ft)  
We will be taking the Llanberris footpath up past The Halfway House and the Monolith to the summit. We will return down the same path. Over the last few years the average time each walker has spent on Snowdon is 5 hours.  

Equipment
In most cases the weather could be described as “normal”. It should be remembered that on the British mountains the weather can be severe at any time of the year. It should be noted that Scafell Pike lies in officially the wettest part of England, Ben Nevis can have snow at any time of the year, with the average wind speed on the summit being almost 50 mph. Snowdon is prone to mist and high winds. The risk is created by ill-prepared and ill-equipped people venturing out into the “normal” weather conditions. It is vitally important that each participant is correctly equipped and prepared.


A while ago two members of UK Outdoor Pursuits Co admin team completed the Challenge.
Here are a few photos taken at the summits of each of the peaks.  These photos were taken during the middle of June !! (yes, there will almost certainly be snow on Nevis).

Walkers Lisa and Adele (UKOP admin staff) - picture taken with mobile phone so ?? not too good
Snowdon
Clear and very cold
Scafell Pike
Mist and strong wind
 Ben Nevis
Snowing
All participants should be equipped with the following items. 
Note that this is a guide to the minimum levels required.

Clothing - Use a number of thin layers of thermal clothing covered on the outside with a water proof layer.
* Inner Layer - You will need to carry a number (min 3) of thin vests or T-shirts, which can be taken off or put on as required.
* Thermal Layer - This is used to insulate the body, normally a fleece or woollen jumper.
* Waterproof Layer - This should be waterproof to protect from the weather.

Boots - Above all your boots must fit your feet correctly. It is no use having a technically advanced pair of boots if they do not fit. Your boots should be sturdy with good ankle support. They should be designed for use on long (rocky) mountain walks. Boots should have soles specifically produced for use on wet rock. Bad fitting boots are not simply uncomfortable, they can be dangerous. In extreme cases it may simply not be possible to carry on with a walk because your boots do not fit.

Rucksack - Your sack should be big enough to carry all the equipment and clothing that you need for the event but not too big so as to tempt you to carry too much. About 30/45 litres is about average. Look for plenty of padding on the shoulder straps and make sure it has a (workable) waist strap. You should carry all your equipment inside the sack, not strapped to the outside. Normal mountaineering practice is to carry all your gear inside a bin liner in the sack to improve waterproofing.


A well packed rucksack should contain:
Water Proofs, Flask, Pen/Paper, Torch (plus spare battery and bulb), Gloves, Boot laces, Spare clothing, First aid kit, Chocolate, Dried fruit, Woolly hat, Blister pack (available from Boots), Survival bag (available from Catch 22 - (01942) 511820 - and Whistle.
You MUST carry spare clothing. It will be required.


Notes on maps. You don't really need to carry maps on this event but if you do, please remember that they are not much use unless you know how to use them. There are many books that will give you the basics of Navigation. Probably the best is “Mountaincraft and Leadership” by Eric Lanmuir (available from Amazon.com).