Visiting Snowdonia

Snowdon Race

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Three Peaks Challenge guidelines

The Three Peaks Challenge has become increasingly popular as a fundraising event. In Wales this is putting increasing pressure on Snowdon throughout the summer months, with considerable negative impact on the environment, local residents, local staff, rescue services and amenities. If you are participating in or organising a Three Peaks Challenge, there are a number of steps you must follow:

Step 1: Group of more than 50 participants?

Groups of 50+:
You will need to contact us directly, by completing the Large Event Request Form. Groups of up to 50: Go to Step 2.

Step 2: Follow the Snowdon Code of Practice

Step 3: Follow guidelines for Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.

You can find more information here on guidelines for Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.

Step 4: Follow the Code of Fundraising Practice for the Three Peaks Challenge.

« Code of Fundraising Practice (pdf document)

Step 5: Read the following guidance

Limit numbers.
The number of walkers should be limited to no more than 200 per event.

Avoid the peak holiday times.
During bank holidays and school holidays Snowdon is incredibly busy, and parking and local amenities are under considerable pressure during these peak times.

Carefully plan your route.
Most Three Peaks Challenge groups either use the Llanberis Path or the PyG/Miners tracks from Pen y Pass, you can read more info about these routes - Llanberis Path, PyG and Miners tracks.

Make sure the group is correctly equipped.
Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team have some excellent guidance on being prepared for a mountain trek.

Check the mountain weather forecast.
Check the mountain weather forecast and ground conditions before you set out and if the weather deteriorates, turn back. Conditions on the mountain can change quickly with fierce winds, low clouds and freezing temperatures making visibility and walking impossible. Visit the Met Office website for a detailed weather forecast and information on ground conditions.

Plan your toilet stops.
Public toilet facilities at Pen y Pass and Llanberis are very limited; please try to use alternative facilities before you arrive.

Plan your parking.
From Llanberis there is no vehicular access from main road up the narrow tarmaced lane to the start of the Llanberis path up Snowdon, so you will need to park in one of the many car parks in Llanberis (£4-6). Please avoid parking on the residential street (Vaynol Terrace) leading to the tarmaced lane as this causes huge problems for the people living on this street. Pen y Pass car park (£10) is normally full after 8:00am in the summer months and even drop-offs here during busy times can be problematic. Further parking is available either to the east, at Pen-y-Gwryd (£4), or to the west at Nant Perris (£4). The Sherpa shuttle bus service runs every half hour or so during busy times, between all three car parks.

Plan your water and food supplies.
Ensure that you bring sufficient food and water supplies. The mains water supply at Pen y Pass isn’t suitable for drinking. Bottled water and snacks can be purchased from the following locations but remember that opening hours are limited:

  • Pen y Pass - Bwtri Cafe.
  • Llanberis - A huge number of excellent cafes and pubs.
  • Snowdon - Halfway House cafe – half-way up the Llanberis path; Hafod Eryri summit cafe (remember these cafes are closed during winter and when there is bad weather).

Take your litter home with you.
Please take all litter away with you, including fruit peel and apple cores. You may only have a bin bag but with over 30,000 people taking part in the 3 Peaks Challenge each year it soon adds up and disposing of waste is extremely costly for the National Park and local communities. Note that there are no bins at all at Pen y Pass.

Think local.
Encouraging everyone involved to stay locally and buy goods locally will ensure the sustainability of this event in the future. If you are finishing your challenge on Snowdon, please feel free to use the fantastic local pubs and restaurants to celebrate your success!

Keep to the main paths.
Do not attempt to take short cuts - you should follow the proper paths throughout the challenge, to avoid damaging Snowdon’s sensitive environment. Avoid walking on scree (loose falls of small rock often found on mountain sides) as this erodes quickly and is dangerous for those below you.

Have good safety measures in place.
Groups should include members who are proficient in mountain navigation and safety. Where this is not the case, mountain leaders should be hired. Do no reply on mobile phones – phone signals are very limited in the area. In the event of an emergency Dial 999 ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue. More mountain safety advice is available here.

Header image - Morfa Harlech (© Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales)