The Lakes 3000s

 

leeds-lakes-022Region: The Lake District (Cumbria)

The Challenge: To complete the circular route of all four 3000ft peaks in the Lake District (Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Scafell and Scafell Pike) in 24 hours

Distance: 45 miles

 

This route features less in the way of difficult rocky ground than it's Welsh cousin (though it has its share), but more than makes up for this with it's extra 15 miles of ground covered and is generally considered the harder challenge. Only the exceptionally fast can expect to complete it in daylight hours, most of us must expect several hours of walking in darkness, something that only adds to its epic feel and the resulting sense of satisfaction.

 

We run this either as a 1 day challenge event, or as a 3 day expedition with a choice of spending the nights in tents on the hills or in hostel accommodation in the valleys. Several minor variations are possible to the route depending on whether you wish to prioritise avoiding roads, or getting round the route in the shortest possible time.

The route begins in Keswick and then heads up Skiddaw, the first of the 3000fters. Having headed down Skiddaw, there are some miles of valley to be covered, either by road or by lakeside path to Grange, the picturesque village at the end of Derwent Water. From here it continues up the valley, and then begins the climb up the second peak, Scafell, and the third, Scafell Pike. At this point, those who wish a break from walking may be pleased with some of the steep rock they encounter requiring the use of hands.

You have now climbed 3 of the 4 peaks but many miles of walking remain. From Scafell Pike the route descends to Esk Hause, then climbs up again past High Raise before dropping to Thirlmere. The fourth and final peak, Helvellyn is climbed via steep ground on Birk Side then descended back to Thirlmere, where the remaining miles back to Keswick can be covered either by road or by path.

 

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