This weekend will probably see a peak in the number of teams and groups raising much needed funds for very deserving causes on the National 3 Peak Challenge. Having seen the weather forecast, I don’t envy anyone taking on this challenge over the weekend nearest to the summer solstace.
My advice to all this weekend is simple. Be careful, be competant, be respectful, and leave no trace. Challenge participants should consider the impact they have on the communities and environments they pass through, particularly in the Wasdale valley as they generally motor through villages and past farms at around 3am. Here is an exerpt from an article published by the BMC:
“Residents of the Wasdale valley regularly have their summer nights disturbed by large Challenge groups whose conduct Richard described as ‘totally antisocial’. Nor does the Challenge have any positive effect upon the local economy. Challenge groups do not stay in local hotels or even buy drinks in local pubs, since they arrive in Wasdale in the middle of the night and leave in a hurry in their minibuses the following morning. Nor can the tourist infrastructure at Wasdale Head cope with the influx. There certainly aren’t enough toilets, car parking space is at a premium, and Mountain Rescue vehicles have been all but forced into the ditch by minibuses hurtling down the narrow road in the dead of night. Yet road widening and the building of facilities are not what nature lovers come to see.”
You can read the full article at http://www.thebmc.co.uk/three-peaks-challenge and I would also strongly advise all challengers to watch this short film by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team – the unpaid volunteers who keep you safe and rescue you when you get lost or injured in the mountains.
Above all, I wish all challengers good luck and raise lots of money for your chosen charities. Enjoy the event and come back to the mountains at a more leisurely pace.
Finally, remember what Edward Whymper taught us…
“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”