24 PEAKS IN 24 HOURS – THE ULTIMATE LAKE DISTRICT HIKING CHALLENGE
UPDATE – We completed the 24 Peaks Challenge on 14th June 2014, and finished around 5pm. We raised over £2,300 for Meningitis Now. The hike took us 20 hours to complete, leaving 4 hours spare to roll down the hill to Low Gillerthwaite field centre and celebrate with real ale and a barbecue 🙂 You can read the recap of our hike here.
HOW THE 24 PEAK CHALLENGE CAME ABOUT
On the 10th April 2013, I tragically lost my 25 year old sister, Donna, to Meningitis.
She was full of fun, joy and mischief, and she lit up a room with her smile and infectious laugh, which is so missed, but will never be forgotten.
Shortly after, it was suggested I do an event to raise money for Meningitis Now, but that it should be a challenge that really pushed me. My sister loved the outdoors, and especially the Ennerdale Valley, so my friend and I decided on the 24 Peaks Challenge – 24 Peaks In 24 Hours in the Lake District. She would have loved this challenge, and will certainly have a laugh at us bimbling around in the dark at the head of the Ennerdale valley.
You can visit our 24 Peaks Justgiving page at Justgiving.com/24-In-24.
WHAT IS THE 24 PEAKS CHALLENGE?
The 24 peaks is one of the most demanding mountain walking challenges in the Lake District. The challenge will see you scale 24 of the greatest peaks in the Lake District, each one being over 2400ft, all with a target hiking time of 24 hours.
The total route mileage of the 24 peaks is around 34 miles, but the elevation and height gain make this far from easy!
24 PEAKS in 24 HOURS CHALLENGE – OUR ROUTE
There is no ‘official’ route for the 24 peaks, but challengers must ensure each peak is above 2400ft. There are two distinct sets of peaks you’ll be summiting. The first set covers Great Dodd down to Red Screes (the ‘Helvellyn range’), and the second set of peaks starts with Bow Fell, crosses Scafell Pike and Great Gable, and finishes at High Style.
You can view the routes by clicking the images below. Mobile and tablet users might struggle to view them, so click the links below to view images of the routes across the two sets of peaks if you have any issues.
24 PEAKS CHALLENGE – TIPS
If you’re thinking of having a go at the 24 peaks Lake District challenge, these are my top tips:
- Get training – this is not an easy challenge, even for seasoned hikers.
- Do it close to the summer solstice – use as much light as you can, to ensure you spend less timing stopping to navigate! It’s also much warmer. And there is less rain. Rain = slippy footpaths and dangerous hiking when done at pace! Many people have failed the challenge purely down to wet rocks.
- Keep your pack light – let your body focus on working your legs, not extra weight.
- Take a head torch and spare batteries – very useful if you don’t get a lot of moonlight like we did!
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks – carb up the night and day before, then let the protein bars, trail mix and fruit help do the rest of the work!
- Use the gap between the first and second sets of peaks – this is your chance to grab some hot food, change your socks, amend your kit and restock. Use the time wisely!
- Use walking poles – even the fittest hikers will find these beneficial towards the end of the hike. Let your arms take some of the weight and strain off your knees and legs.
- Find comfortable walking shorts / trousers – this is crucial to avoid any sort of chafing. I struggled badly with this over the last few miles, and especially the descent down once we’d finished.
All the best for anyone wanting to take on the 24 peaks challenge!
Above anything else, you’re hiking some of the most popular and special peaks in the Lake District, so enjoy the views! 🙂