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3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 03 Sep 2013, 12:07
by tomc

My girlfriend has been tasked by her boss at work to organise a 3 Peaks charity team-building exercise for around 50 colleagues. :o Quite a daunting task as many of the participants don't even have walking boots.

I've done the 3 peaks challenge before with some friends as part of a British Heart Foundation charity walk. This was really well organised and had clear markers of the route throughout but I can't remember how good the markers were the general route as there was helpful BHF signage everywhere

The purpose of this post is to ask - can it be done without a guide? I'm sure many people do it with simply a map and compass but I don't want her faced with the prospect of having to lead 50 people and then end up getting lost!

I've seen there's a video walk you can buy from another 3 peaks website - is this worth getting? The fee for a guided walk (£70 a head) are far too expensive.

Just could do with some friendly advice and to maybe be pointed in the direction of a potentially cheaper walk guide (or a good map!)

Thanks in advance,

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 03 Sep 2013, 20:16
by mac.hawk
Hi Tom

The easy bit first. Yes it certainly can be done without a guide using only the map (and compass if you really need one).

The route is very obvious 99% of the way if you utilise the new surfaced route that avoids 'The Bog'. Unfortunately the new route has yet to show up on the current OS map as a Right of Way (green dashes) but a general idea of the route can be seen if you follow the Pennine Way off PyG to Tarn Bar then you will see an indicated path shown as ----------- running up Whitber Hill, crossing Sell Gill Beck & Sell Gill Hill to re-join the Pennine Way south west of Jackdaw Hill. This route is now well surfaced and waymarked. (If you haven't physically got the OS map you can view the route on

With map in hand and a copy of 'The Guide' I would find it incredibly difficult to see how anyone can get lost if using this route (I've had people email me to say they've used 'The Guide' throughout the route and never had to even consult the map).

Crossing 'The Bog' may be a different issue and it's far more difficult to convey/predict an exact route as it's so dependent on the prevailing weather conditions and on how much you need to detour around it. It's covered in 'The Guide' and with relevant OS reference points but if I was sending 50 people over the route I'd avoid 'The Bog'.

Wouldn't bother with the video, there's plenty of video's on Youtube to give you a flavour of the walk.

The information r.e. maps is in 'The Guide'.

Organising for a party of 50 people surely isn't impossible but will take a deal of planning and discipline. If you're taking 50 people on a 25 mile hike I don't believe one single person can 'lead' the whole group.

I've certainly never guided that many people across the route, my max is 12, but even in a group of 12 it becomes apparent very soon on the walk that people will travel at different speeds. If you're intending to stay together as a single, albeit large, group it will take a lot of discipline from the faster walkers to keep to the main body of the group. In reality what happens is that the faster walkers get ahead and eventually get frustrated in waiting for the less speedy walkers, who, get distressed as they feel they are holding the faster walkers up and try to push themselves a bit more and therefore get more fatigued.

If this is a 'team building' exercise is there any intention of some people providing ground support? E.g. If any of the team are unable/incapable/unwilling to take on the challenge would they be likely to provide logistic support at identified spots (food/fluid/medical provisions etc)? Or is everyone being expected to pack all the days provisions in their backpack?

What time of year will the 'event' be held, will it be a weekend attempt or a mid-week one? What age ranges have you got? Have people got the right equipment? Will they train for the challenge (OK if you're in the 18-30 club you probably wont need to but if your in the 40+ club you might need to get some decent walking in before attempting the challenge).

And I've only just started ..............................

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 09:16
by tomc
Thanks for your response, much appreciated. To answer your questions:

If this is a 'team building' exercise is there any intention of some people providing ground support? We're now thinking about this and considering who might 'volunteer' to provide at the bottom of peaks 1 and 2 - is this feasible?

What time of year will the 'event' be held, will it be a weekend attempt or a mid-week one? We're going for Saturday 19th October (about 6 weeks away)

What age ranges have you got? From about 21ish to 45ish

Have people got the right equipment? Not everyone, but they have been warned. Walking shoes will be bought and 'broken in'

Will they train for the challenge (OK if you're in the 18-30 club you probably wont need to but if your in the 40+ club you might need to get some decent walking in before attempting the challenge). Again, they've been warned!

Thanks so much for sending the all the documents with the email, really helpful!

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 15:30
by three peaks
Organising that many people is quite an undertaking - and some responsibility. I am surprised that a company would do it without professional organisers - just from a health and safety perspective.

Remember that by mid October there will not be much more than 12hrs of daytime and sunset will be around 19:30. Most people can do the walk in 11 hours, but in a group of 50 there will be a few who would struggle.

If I were organising this I would split into teams of under 10, each with a similar level of experience/fitness and with a more experienced leader. Fits in with your team building theme as well.

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 07 Sep 2013, 21:29
by mac.hawk
Three Peaks invariably gives very good advice and I wouldn't argue with his/her comments here, however, he/she has got the sunset time wrong.

On the 19th of October 2013 (Civil) Twilight starts at 07.10 with sunrise at 07.44. Sunset is at 18.03 and (Civil) Twilight ends at 18.37 (all times using BST and taking a Horton post code) - (see or ... =-12&day=1 - the latter website is based on London times).

I'm no genius at maths but even I can work out that if I start at the morning twilight time of 07.10 and finish a few minutes after sunset at 18.10 it will have taken 11 hours.

Full moon is on the 19th October at around 00.35 although where(if) it will appear in the sky you'll need to search the 'net to work out (timing BST and based on London).

If the cloud cover is heavy in either the morning or evening the light will be obviously reduced and during the twilight time may be very poor.

Unless you're confident everyone can complete in that 11 hour timescale (and I wouldn't be) everyone should take some form of torch. I certainly would not want to descend Ingleborough in the dusk/dark - and bare in mind when it gets dark up there it's pitch black (certainly if the moon's not out).

If ground support is provided I'd suggest (assuming a Horton start) it be provided at Ribblehead and at Chapel le Dale just north of the Hill Inn. There's plenty of free parking at Ribblehead and there's a lay by just north of the bridleway north of the pub that can park about 10 cars - availability might be limited though. I'd suggest the support crew carry plenty of fluid and maybe food so the hikers don't have to carry large amounts themselves. The support crew should also carry a more comprehensive first aid kit than the group leaders have and they could also provide the torches when the team reach Chapel le Dale.

Personally I'd start at Ribblehead, the guide as provided gives several reasons for this, but other than a half mile section of path that is rough underfoot between God's Bridge and the farm at Nether Lodge the track (using the route avoiding 'The Bog') is pretty benign from Tarn Bar to Ribblehead and is far safer walking when the light is poor. The last 2.5 miles of walking (approx 1 hour) from Nether Lodge to Ribblehead is along flat track and tarmac road and will be far easier to traverse in the dusk/dark with torch than the descent of Ingleborough.

If starting at Ribblehead the ground support could be at Chapel le Dale (as noted above), at Horton itself and/or at High Birkwith.

Finally, If people don't feel confident about doing the whole challenge is it worth suggesting doing it in relay? You could tie this in with the ground support and maybe 'pass the baton on' at Ribblehead or Horton depending on where you start from (it's approx 10.5 miles Horton to Ribblehead via PyG & 14.5 miles Ribblehead to Horton via W & I).

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 11 Sep 2013, 22:43
by tomc
So it's a clear from these very helpful posts that we need some professional guidance in our challenge.

Can anyone recommend a reliable, friendly and affordable guide (s) for our party?

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 12 Sep 2013, 23:22
by mac.hawk
A quick trawl across the internet reveals that mountain guides are available from approx £30-£99 per person (i.e everyone in the party would need to fork out this). Most guides would appear to take no more than 10 individuals so you'd need multiple guides which will obviously cost!! I very much doubt you'll get enough mountain guides willing to take you across the route at this short notice.

The following web link takes you to the Mountain Training website and their Downloads page. The National Guidelines link/download will show you details of the training the accredited Walk/Mountain Leaders are expected to undertake and pass before they reach accreditation.

The question is, do you really need qualified Mountain Leader's as a route guide on this challenge?

It's only something you/your girlfriend and 'her boss' can decide.

If you have a qualified first aider in the group (and ideally more than one) and half a dozen people with hiking experience, common sense and the ability to...

.... read a map
.... follow the text guide
.... take note of the timeline
.... ensure everyone has torches (or are supplied with them at the back end on the walk)
.... be prepared to abandon if people are struggling
.... be prepared to abandon if the light is too poor

I think it's feasible if you can OK the above but I'd definitely go for a Ribblehead start/finish for the reasons stated in the previous post.

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 30 Mar 2018, 23:12
by mac.hawk
You need to expand please, supplements to what?

Re: 3 Peaks work teambuilding fun

Posted: 02 Apr 2018, 23:41
by mac.hawk
Pikemike, what you put in your body is your own business (providing it's legal) what someone else chooses to to put in their body is also their own business too but I would strongly advise that you should not encourage anyone within your team to take 'supplements' without them discussing this first with their G.P. and/or a nutritionist/dietician.

You don't need supplements or 'extra's', just pack food enough for the day - 'The Guide' gives guidance on this and you should take plenty of fluid - fluid is essential (again 'The Guide' covers this too).