THE Real3Peaks Challenge; Cleanse and Conserve 2015

Removed 513.5kgs off the UK's three highest peaks in one day.....With the help of 88 like-minded folk on 8 different routes

View from Snowdon Saturday's results...
  • Ben Nevis 13 Volunteers, 153kg
  • Scafell Pike 39 Volunteers, 155.5kg
  • Snowdon 36 Volunteers, 205kg
What an astounding day, organised by three members of the Mountian Training Association and joined by 88 people who came out on Saturday 10th October to support the Real3Peaks Challenge on the UK’s highest peaks - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon, collecting litter from the most popular routes on each mountain.

The ‘Real3Peaks Challenge’ was designed to promote awareness to the littering problem that can sadly be seen on our most visited mountains, frequently visited by individuals, families, walking clubs, organised groups, large scale events and charity fundraising teams. Most notably, many people working in and around the outdoors industry and those interested in walking in our beautiful UK hills have heard about the ‘National 3 Peaks Challenge’ or even taken part in this renowned event. As each mountain sees evidence of the negative impact of certain (not all) 3 Peaks Challenge teams, it seemed an obvious alignment to use the ‘3 Peaks’ in order to make comment on our aims and rationale and be more familiar to the average household. Not only do we want to raise awareness of issues surrounding the impact large numbers of walkers and visitors can have in these upland environments, we want to affect a change in people’s attitudes, behaviour and language, to enable a more sustainable use of these mountains as a place for positive work, rest and play. We are part of an ongoing process that, ultimately, is calling for behavioral change in the very heart of society’s attitudes towards how we conduct ourselves, look after our waste and view ourselves in relation to the natural world. Now, that’s a Real Challenge – and we are starting from a point where we know we can reach out to communities of people directly. Small steps… Founder Real3Peak

In the words of Rich Pyne, founder of the event concept:


"I started the Real 3 Peaks Challenge back in 2013 because of the littering issue I encountered on the summit of Ben Nevis, filling 2 carrier bag in as many minutes I was appalled by what I found up there, so with a few months of planning, The Real 3 Peaks Challenge was born. Initially, I was going to try and complete the Challenge myself, cleaning each hill, one after the other, but soon realised that wouldn't be effective enough to make a difference. So I soon got together a modest group of Fellow members, used to working in the outdoors with individuals and groups, to manage each hill. These were myself on Ben Nevis; Kelvyn James on Scafell Pike and Ross and Kate Worthington, from their "spare time" between running a daughter and their company RAW Adventures who are involved heavily with clearing the way on Snowdon throughout the year on other events. [br}
Now in its third year, we have steadily become more visible within the outdoors industry and with land managers, local organisations, conservation charities, landowners and activity providers who have all been managing litter issues for a long time and I do not beleive these efforts have enough exposure to the genearl public. Now there is more potential to increase visibility…” The Real3Peaks Challenge has to thank a number of organisations stakeholders for their continual support of the event: The British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Mountain Training Association, Association of Mountaineering Instructors, The John Muir Trust, The National Trust, Snowdonia National Park, Snowdonia Society and Snowdon Mountain Railway. With 30,000 people reached via our Facebook page posts, before and after the events. We aim to increase this traffic throughout the months in between an annual event on the mountains.

Back in October 2013 we managed to clear around 265KG off these mountains. 2014, we removed 423KG, we knew where to look! This time around, in 2015, our haul of 513.5KG does show we knew very well where to locate older items, now finding debris that has been hidden or buried for generations. These include historical drink cans, thick glass bottles, industrial waste from building sites and even a rubbish stash that looked to be dating back to when the Observatory was running on Ben Nevis, back in early 20th Century! Teams on Snowdon removed 500 plastic bottles. Each mountain has its own unique story about its development as historical tourist destinations – with summit buildings and industry claiming the summits of Ben Nevis and Snowdon, for example, since Victorian times. Year on year, we are hoping to clear these sites of a build up of debris, as well as promote the practice of ‘leaving no trace’ for today’s walkers enjoying the beauty and health benefits of our UK mountains. Snowdon Train journey

Watch this space as we get the ball rolling for The Real3Peaks Challenge Saturday 8th October 2016 and we hope to expand the concept to other popular areas such as the Yorkshire 3 peaks, The Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and even the South Downs way, so if any budding members keen to help organise and lead an effort in a new area please get in touch.

***BEN NEVIS SUMMARY***



The approach...8.30 start with a steady pull up to the Summit looking for likely areas, with a little bit of picking en route. Our team (13 in total) arrived at slightly different times, but we were incredibly effective. We even managed a play with a Broken Spectre...The hill was looking clean, bar the brand new graffiti which has appeared in the last 2 weeks on the summit. I really hope this doesn't start a new trend."...The Pick begins in earnest. What a Team! Amazingly thorough...Around 2 and half hours to clear the plateau, with EVERYTHING removed, even Mary found a stash that looked like it was left behind from the days of the Observatory, tins, bottles, etc. We went everywhere you could imagine, rocks getting turned over, poking, prodding, and removing andthing we found from fruit peel to a Duvet! Returning to the Visitors Centre around 8pm. Well done Nic, Phil, Adam, Rhona, Colin, Mary, Tyna, Ewan, Evan plus the random guy that took full bags from us on their way down. Much appreciated, and a very special thank you to Hazel, who took it upon herself to look out for the tiny bits, fag ends, chewing gum, etc. She filled a bag with just these bits, and it was heavy! Fantastic effort guys, thank you".

Rich Pyne - Rich Mountain Experiences
richmountainexperiences@outlook.comRich Pyne volunteers

***SCAFELL PIKE SUMMARY***



"A HUGE thank you to the wonderful 39 volunteers who made this the most successful R3P yet - even better because we took LESS rubbish off the fells this year - 68.5kg from Seathwaite (inc a 10.5kg tent we'll be donating to scouts), 55kg from Wasdale and 32kg by Langdale. A special thanks to the two Steves for leading groups with short notice & the flatlands posse for a wonderful 5hr drive to help out. It was especially nice to get so many "thank yous" from the general public we encountered and the runners doing the Langdale Horseshoe.

Kelvyn James - Mountain Services
fun@mountainservices.co.uk

***SNOWDON SUMMARY***



0715 - "Enthusiastic volunteers start to arrive in anticipation of being able to board a train to the summit of Snowdon. Yes, we are very aware we are super lucky to have the support and generosity of Snowdon Mountain Railway in putting on a passenger carriage at 0800 for 15 x R3P Volunteers (3 x started elsewhere) and 18 x Snowdonia Society Volunteers - our theory was use available resources to get up high early and work our way downwards all day. Thank you SMR. With a huge thanks to the following for their efforts and positive smiles all day: Gerard on the Watkin Path (a fine solo effort!); Louise and Tarquin (and Hardy the Dog) working from Pen y Pass upwards towards Llyn Llydaw and beyond; Stephen, Rich, Dave, Jamie, Cenydd, Stephen and Ellie working down the Miners Track and the 'Llyns'; Michael, Chris, Branwen, Charlotte, Gareth, John, Dan and myself working along the Pyg Track focusing on the old mines areas up high and Bwlch y Moch. The Snowdonia Society team worked their way down the Llanberis Path, with particular attention around the 'halfway' area.

Everyone spent an hour or so around the summit area which turned up a staggering amount of broken glass compared to most other things. 7 very full bags were sorted for recycling and left with the SMR and their recycling storage, to be removed by train later that day. This included apx 12kg weight of broken glass. And a lot of plastic and metal. The summit area always turns up interesting remnants of old industrial waste, as well as everyday items. Did we say a LOT of broken glass?! Oh, and Top Deck from the 80s... 1100 and everyone is now moving down the mountain (Gerard still moving up!) and focusing on their designated areas. A lot of positive comments and interest from walkers, as well as the obligatory, "Can I be cheeky and give you this?" Off to recycle

Certainly bin bags from the Pyg and Miners Teams are now in our garden...off to the recycling centre tomorrow... The above seems like a large haul...the general cleanliness of the main paths on Snowdon is pretty good considering the amount of diverse visitors, and this is based on general opinion/surveys/word of mouth that is heard from speaking to lots of people, a lot of the time. But, teams from yesterday were scouring hidden corners, turning up old stashes, scraping around scree slopes, wading in streams, sifting through soft rush, poking in old ruins and clearing out helicopter lifting bags (for current path maintenance work) of dumped articles. A lot of the items would have been years (sometimes decades) old...We also hope to help the message of Keep Wales Tidy!

Ross and Kate Worthington – RAW Adventures
info@raw-adventures.co.uk

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