The Three Peaks Trial is an organised challenge walk arranged each year in March by the Cardiff Outdoor Group. Since 2010 Longtown Mountain Rescue Team provide support with marshalls on all the mountain top checkpoints.
The Walk was first held in March 1963 and was designed for less experienced walkers who wanted to test their powers of endurance and skill at map reading. It is now the oldest challenge walk in the UK.
Over the years the event has been modified so in 2017 there is a choice of four other routes. The current four routes are:
Platinum Route:This is a linear walk of about 17 miles and 5000′ of ascent from Llanthony Abbey to Abergavenny over Bal Mawr, Pen Cerrig Calch and Sugar Loaf. Entry to the Platinum Route is limited to 200. Although the Platinum Route is shorter than the Gold, the ascents are steeper and navigation more challenging, hence the higher grading.
Gold Route: This is the original challenge, a circular walk of about 20 miles and 5000′ of ascent, which crosses over three prominent peaks around Abergavenny in Monmouthshire: Blorenge, Sugar Loaf and Skirrid. This route is never far from civilisation yet there is no obvious route so that concentration on map reading is essential to keep to the best route.
Silver Route: This is a circular walk of about 15 miles and 4000′ of ascent. It follows the Gold Route from Abergavenny over Blorenge and Sugar Loaf, then descends back to Abergavenny.
Bronze Route: This is a circular walk of about 10 miles and 2000′ of ascent. The route goes from Abergavenny to the summit of Sugar Loaf, descending by a different path.
The money raised in the 2016 Three Peaks Trial will be split between the Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, the National Trust, owners of Sugar Loaf and Skirrid Fawr, for footpath maintenance and at least one other charity (charity decided November 2016).
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