The Real3Peaks Challenge: 5 years old

Posted by Peter Burnside on 03/10/2017
Mountains and litter: cleaning up Scafell Pike. Photo: Real3Peaks Challenge
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The Real3Peaks Challenge, an event that has removed 1.8 tonnes of litter from popular peaks after the busy summer period, is turning five years old on Saturday 7 October and growing much bigger too! This year, alongside the 'Big 3' peaks, seven additional areas will get deep cleaned too. Find out how to join us and help.

How much waste has been collected so far?

Over the past four years, approximately 1.8 tonnes of litter has been removed from the 3 Peaks in a mere four days of volunteer action. Broken down as follows:

October 2013 – 265kg
Cleared off the major routes on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
 
October 2014 – 423kg 
(We now knew where to look!)
 
October 2015 – 513kg
(A monster haul.)
 
October 2016 – 568kg
(Ben Nevis: 267kg – including a toilet, Scafell Pike: 96kg, Snowdon: 205kg)

How to join the Real3Peaks Challenge

Please come and join us to help. This year on Saturday 7 October we need volunteers to help us scour the areas. All we ask is that you're available for a full hill day, be an independent hillwalker (please note this is not a guided walk – mountain professionals are very welcome too) and be fully prepared for a long descent with lots of banter. If you'd like to join us, then please get in contact using the details in the Facebook post below.

What is the Real3Peaks Challenge?

The aim of the Real3Peaks Challenge is to increase awareness of the ‘Leave no Trace’ or ‘Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints’ ethic when walking in our hills and mountains in the UK (and beyond) – not only for our three most popular mountains either, but for all our ‘wild’ and beautiful upland places too.

The name 'Real 3 Peaks Challenge' was picked for a reason – the REAL CHALLENGE is cleaning up after the 3 Peaks season – the popular walking challenge event that looks to summit Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours. But this ‘summer season’ also includes general footfall of day walkers, many of whom are taking part in organised group walks for varying personal reasons, charity fundraising or corporate objectives.

This year, in addition to the 'Big 3' peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon – the clean up will also happen on Lochnagar, Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Ben Lomond, Goat Fell and two areas of The Peak District.

“When I started the Real3Peaks Challenge in 2013, I was working as a full-time Outdoors Instructor. Whilst my clients were eating lunch, I decided to pick up some rubbish off the summit of Ben Nevis, as it was looking rather sad. I filled two carrier bags in as many minutes!” says Rich Pyne, founder of the Real 3 Peaks Challenge.

“Initially, my aim was to complete a Real3Peaks Challenge myself, cleaning each hill, one after the other, but I soon realised that wouldn't be effective enough to make a difference. So I soon got together a modest group of like-minded Mountain Leaders, used to working in the outdoors with individuals and groups, to manage each mountain.”
 
“This started as a personal crusade, but now it has become my opportunity to help make a difference, and to ultimately help change attitudes towards our ‘common land’.”

Sponsors

The Real3Peaks Challenge has received generous practical and publicity support from the following organisations. We are very grateful to:
 
Mountain Training Association
The British Mountaineering Council
Mountaineering Scotland
The John Muir Trust
The National Trust
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia Society
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Keep Wales Tidy

 


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