June is a favourite time of year for many people who love the outdoors, because it brings very long daylight hours that allow for some very lengthy days out walking. That is why it is a favourite for those taking on the National Three Peaks Challenge.
This bold undertaking requires mountain adventurers to climb to the summits of the highest mountains in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) inside 24 hours, catching a bit of rest in between as minibus drivers ferry them between these peaks, lying hundreds of miles apart.
Apart from the sheer levels of endeavour, fitness, determination and charity sponsorship fundraising required, it is vital to take the right clothes. This can include some items many would not have thought of, such as a men’s thermal base layer top.
Given the recent warm weather, it would be easy to neglect such an item, but the reality is that Ben Nevis can bear snow way into summer and has even been known to get the occasional flurry in the summer months.
At 4,412 ft, the summit plateau of Britain’s highest mountain has a sub-arctic climate, something also found in the Cairngorms, but not elsewhere in Britain.
Even so, it is possible to get a bit chilly on Scafell Pike, which is usually climbed in the early hours of the morning, especially if the weather is a bit wet. Of course, the summit will be reached in broad daylight, but don’t forget a bit of heat and sweat can also lead to the body getting a bit cold too.
All of these are very good reasons for using thermals, although when you come off Snowdon, the chances are you’ll soon be getting warm and eating hot food in one of the legendary cafés of Llanberis, such as the infamous Pete’s Eats.
The National Three Peaks is not the only version, of course: Others include the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. But this is a single walk to be completed within 12 hours and the peaks are of modest height, the highest being Whernside at 2,415 ft.