Starlit night for National 3 Peaks Challenge this weekend.


Jo, Emily & Ricky - Scafell Pike summit at 6am.

This Saturday saw me guiding 2 separate groups up Scafell Pike within 24 hours.  Both ascents were with a bright moon giving amazing night views of silhouetted mountains and lakes sparkling in the moonlight.

My first team was Jo, Emily and Ricky from Winchester with a 4am start on Saturday morning.  No faffing to get ready but straight out of the car and onto the walk.  For a 24 hour ascent this is the way to do it, for every minute you spend getting ready in the car park at the beginning and end of the walk is a minute lost on completing in 24 hours.   By the time we reached the summit almost 2 hours later the sky was beginning to lighten up from the east.  It wasn’t long before head torches were put away and the sun was starting to lighten up the tops of the mountains.  The same ‘no faffing’ applied at the end of the walk – straight into the car and off they drove (their 'driver' organised all their kit and food and they changed in the car!) to North Wales.


Paul, Dennis & Rowan on Scafell Pike summit at mid-night

The next team started at 9.45pm on Saturday night – enough time for me to have a relaxing day at home walking the dog, gardening and finding some sleep time!  The group had started the challenge as a group of four but knee problems on Ben Nevis took the group down to three.  Rowan, Paul and Dennis were also fast and organised and used the tactic of taking turns to lead at the front, setting a good pace and on target for a 3 ½ hour trip.  Dwindling energy, possibly due to lack of food saw one of the team slow at Hollowstones, the half way point.  However with a slower, steady pace up the next half of the mountain they still made good progress and their descent was super rapid! 

Both teams achieved a time of 3 hours 45 minutes on Scafell Pike and completed their 3 Peaks challenge.  Congratulations all!


Moonlight - looking over to the West Cumbria coast from Scafell Pike summit


Early morning sun on the mountains surrounding Wastwater

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