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Welsh 3 Peaks - what to take & wear

Climbing the 3 Peaks

The PCRC Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge involves ascent and descent of Pen Y Fan and Cadair Idris on Saturday 17th May 2014 and Snowdon on Sunday 18th May 2014. Climbing 3 mountains over 2 days means you may experience different weather conditions on each mountain and very probably the weather on the Saturday will be different to the weather on Sunday.

You will therefore need to plan very carefully what equipment and clothing you will be taking and wearing allowing for all potential weather conditions. At this time of year it"s still possible to experience snow on the higher levels of the mountains and any combination of sun, rain, wind, cloud or hill fog. It obviously makes sense to be prepared for any or all of these.

Miners Track

What to wear − Get it right.

Good walking boots with adequate ankle support are essential. Approach shoes or trainers are not suitable for the event. The choice of socks is also important as they will provide the extra cushioning required to protect your feet and help prevent blisters. You should have at least one pair of good quality socks for each mountain.

Do not skimp on clothing or equipment. Bring clothing for all weather conditions so that you can select the most appropriate gear for each mountain and the prevailing weather conditions as you find them. Bring sufficient dry under-garments as you may well need to put on fresh clothing at each peak. Bring a towel, wet-wipes, toilet roll as well headache tablets, foot powder, sun protection and lip balm.

Take only essentials in your rucksack - the more you put in it the heavier it will be making the climb that much more strenuous. Even in good weather make sure you still take your waterproofs in your rucksack - mountains create their own weather systems and it can change very quickly.

Equipment & Clothing Check List

Walking Boots
  • Waterproof jacket & waterproof overtrousers
  • Windproof outer garment (waterproofs)
  • Fleece or similar plus spare
  • Breathable base layers
  • rucksack (35 litres)
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Map of each mountain area
  • Compass
  • First Aid kit
  • Walking BootsBoots (plus spare pair if you have them)
  • Walking socks, three pairs
  • High energy snacks / water
  • Spare clothing to change into
  • Towel
Walking poles

Also consider:

  • Walking Poles
  • Whistle (for emergencies)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection cream / lip balm
  • Road maps
  • GPS
  • Mobile phone

Eat and drink

When on the mountain eat snacks for energy and drink water frequently to stay well hydrated and Avoid long rest periods as your body will cool rapidly.

Map / Compass / GPS

Practice your navigation skills with map and compass and get to know your GPS if you intend using one. The last thing you want on your 3 peaks challenge attempt is to stand around on a cold, wet and windy mountainside while the navigator reads the instructions on how to use the GPS!

Test your equipment

Check that the clothing and equipment you intend using on your 3 peaks challenge is OK, i.e. it fits you and that it works! Many people buy new clothing, boots etc. for their 3 peaks challenge but don't check it properly prior to the challenge. They're then suddenly presented with a problem as they set off on their first mountain! By trying all your equipment and wearing your new clothes (particularly boots) including rucksack beforehand you'll discover any problems and will be in a position to do something about it before your challenge starts.

Check the weather forecast

Don't forget to check the weather forecast before you set off on your 3 peaks challenge. The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) is a good source for all 3 mountain areas.

Beacon Maps

We also recommend you read the "Equipment" pages on the Beacon Maps web site which provides comprehensive advice and details on what to take and wear for mountain challenges of this nature.

Supporting the Snowdon 500 and Welsh 3 peaks challenges.

Stand Innovations Ltd - The exhibition specialists Summit Junkie