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National 3 Peaks 24 Hour Challenge in Detail



Daylight Hours in mid-June

Sunrise 0424 Sunset 2217 40 minutes light either side


Post Codes

Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, PH33 6PF

Wasdale Head Inn & Brackenclose, CA20 1EX

Pen-y-Pass, LL55 4NY


Mileages and Estimated Travel Times   Excluding any stops

Fort William – Wasdale Head 265 miles 6 hours via Carlisle

(2 hours driving from M6 at Carlisle)

90 miles single track , 120 miles dual carriageway or motorway, 55 miles single track


Wasdale Head – Pen-y-Pass 220 miles 5 hours via Holmrook

45 miles single track , 165 miles dual carriageway or motorway, 10 miles single track


Total travel times: 465 miles in 11 hours


Fort William – Wasdale Head in detail (not allowing for any stops)

Glen Nevis to Glencoe turn off

17 miles in 31 minutes on slow single track road


Glencoe turn off to Glasgow, M8, Jct 15 (Cathedral)

91 miles in 129 minutes on slow single track road then dual carriageway/motorway


Jct 15 to Bothwell services, M74

10 miles in 10 minutes on motorway


Bothwell services to Carlisle, M6, Jct 15 (A7)

81 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes on motorway


Carlisle, M6, Jct 15 (A7) to A595/A66 roundabout at Cockermouth

28 miles in 46 minutes on single track road. Slow through Carlisle.


A595/A66 roundabout at Cockermouth to Wasdale Head

32 miles in 55 minutes (last 8 miles on slow narrow single track road)

Busy around Workington.

(A5086 through Cleator Moor is 2 miles shorter and 2 minutes shorter but goes through a few 30 mph villages)

Total 259 miles in 5 hours 51 minutes


Wasdale Head – Pen-y-Pass in detail  (not allowing for any stops)

Wasdale Head to Ulpha via Birker Fell

19 miles in 47 minutes (first 8 miles on very slow narrow twisting single track roads)


Ulpha to Greenodd bypassing Broughton-in-Furness.

12 miles in 18 minutes on good single track road but difficult to overtake.


Greenodd to M6, Jct 36, A590.

19 miles in 30 minutes on mainly dual carriageway.


M6, Jct 36/A590 to Jct 32/M55

30 miles in 30 minutes on motorway


M6, Jct 32/M55 to Jct 21A/M62

31 miles in 33 minutes on motorway


M6 Jct 21A/M62 to Jct 19A/M56 (for North Wales)

5 miles in 5 minutes


M6/M56 Jct to A55 Jct 11, Exit 1: A5 Betws Coed

76 miles in 74 minutes on motorway/dual carriageway


At next roundabout take exit 3: A4244:Llanberis


A55 Jct 11 to Llanberis

8 miles in 13 minutes on single track roads


Llanberis to Pen-y-Pass

6 miles in 11 minutes on narrow single track road especially after Nant Peris

Total: 206 miles in 4 hours 21 minutes




Estimated Walking Times   These are very challenging times


Ben Nevis 4 hours (tourist path)


Scafell Pike 4 hours (via Lingmell Gill, Hollow Stones, Lingmell col)


Snowdon 4 hours (via Miners’ track)


Total walking time = 12 hours



Time Savers??


Using Callander instead of Loch Lomond road adds 3.3 miles and 5 minutes but it is a better road especially in dark and there is less chance, with more overtaking options, if held up by slower vehicles. There are more options for diversions should the Callander road be closed by an accident whereas there are no options on the Loch Lomond road.


Need to get in and out of Lake District at quiet times as the roads are in and out of Wasdale are very narrow.



Curent Recommendations


0730 Start up Ben Nevis

1200 Start drive to Wasdale Head

1800 Start up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head

2200 Start drive to Pen-y-Pass

0300 Start up Snowdon

0730 Finish


Stops en route should only be brief toilet stops. Petrol should be bought by the driver whilst walking is taking place. Food and drink should be consumed en route. Food and drink stops whilst walking are dependent on rate of progress. Likewise for photos. The schedule rules. You have to get ahead of it to afford stops.


This is a different schedule from the one most undertaken. The most popular schedule is to tackle Ben Nevis in the evening then drive to Scafell Pike in the dark before continuing to Snowdon. This means two ascents on the second day. The above schedule has two ascents on the first day which may be psychologically easier with only Snowdon on the second day. The Miner's Track on Snowdon is also the easiest track to follow in the dark with light only need after about 40 minutes of walking to ascend to the PYG track.

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