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Cold weather gear needed for autumn Three Peaks Challenge

Posted 27 September 2012
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Cold weather gear needed for autumn Three Peaks Challenge
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The national Three Peaks Challenge is a tough undertaking at any time. To cram ascents of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon into 24 hours is a serious test of fitness and stamina, requiring plenty of support and excellent preparation.

Such a task can also be made harder by the weather, with rain, wind and poor visibility, with the latter being the mnormal state of affairs on the roof of Scotland.

However, for most people the task is made at least a bit easier by being carried out in the summer months, particularly the very long and light days around June and early July. It means that the worst that can generally be expected is that it is twilight when the ascent of Scafell Pike begins, following an evening descent from Ben Nevis.

This and the comparatively warmer weather should maximise the chances of climbing the peaks, but despite this there are some who are willing to take on the challenge at other times of year.

Friends Richard Flowers and David Hubbard are one pair seeking to do this, the Grantham Journal reports.

They will be setting off on October 5th to raise money for Macmillan when they start the trek with Ben Nevis, a task that may be affected by the increasingly autumnal weather.

As well as the darker days - the sun is now above the horizon for less than 12 hours - the air temperature may fall below freezing and there is even the chance that rain may turn to snow.

In such circumstances walking boots are not all that is needed, with warm fleeces, waterproofs and a compass to go with Ordnance Survey maps all vital. So too is a torch.

While Richard Flowers has been mountaineering before, David Hubbard has not. Richard said of their preparation: "We have both been out training, running and walking and doing lots of walking up hills."

However, such activities may do little to match the reality of the high mountains in the colder and darker months, with anyone looking to head for the outdoors needing to make sure they are well clothed and equipped for the hills.