We’re in an adventure revolution. Online adventure and travel bookings hit a staggering £621 billion in 2020. That’s huge!
Adventure challenge is becoming the norm. It’s time to ditch the age boundaries and super-sporty preconceptions as adventure is here for everyone.
But why are people seeking adventure challenges? What’s the attraction? How can it benefit you?
Adventure is essential for human wellbeing. Adventure helps people overcome fear, manage anxiety, find self-worth, build interpersonal connections, boost self-esteem and confidence, and ultimately adventure brings a happier, healthier and a more playful life.
Outdoor adventure is also good for our planet, as it allows you to connect with your surroundings, and find solace in nature. And everyone wants to protect what they love – are we right? 🌎
At Maximum Adventure, we want to help you discover the value of adventure and challenge, whatever your experience and fitness level. That’s why we’ve put together this article, to list our 10 top adventure challenges.
We’ve listed each challenge in order of difficulty, helping you start small to build up your experience and fitness from here, while progressively expanding your comfort zone.
By the end of this list, you’ll be experienced in adventure challenge, a fear-buster, and fitter, healthier and happier overall.
Your adventure challenge tick list: 10 top adventure experiences
Below we’ve listed 10 of our most popular adventure challenges. We’ve detailed these challenges in order of difficulty. Progressively work through these challenges, starting with our easier adventures, to reach our end, top adventures.
It must be noted that mountainous environments can be dangerous, especially so for the larger peaks. For this reason, these challenges mentioned (except for the West Highland Way) are guided adventures. We use highly experienced, professional and friendly mountain guides that will work with you to help you reach your goals safely. If you’re new to the mountains, it’s best practice – for your safety – to hire a mountain guide.
Adventure challenge #1: Snowdon hike
Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)
Ascent: 727m (2385ft)
Yr Wyddfa, Snowdon is a Welsh beacon of beauty. Towering at 1,085m above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, surrounded by the Snowdonia National Park. The rugged rocky ridges and unique wildlife make climbing Snowdon a challenge steeped in curiosity and awe. For instance, the Snowdonia National Park is home to the rare Snowdonia Lily.
Tackling Snowdon is an impressive achievement that will take you approximately 5-7 hours at a steady pace, making it a physically, mentally and technically demanding challenge. But an achievable one for many nonetheless.
At Maximum Adventure, we provide a guided ascent of Mount Snowdon. We want you to be able to stand on the roof of Wales, where you can take in views across Anglesey, the Menai Strait, Cardigan Bay, and the plains of England.
Adventure challenge #2: Ben Nevis hike
Distance: 11 miles (18km)
Ascent: 1,329m (4,359ft)
Once you’ve tackled the highest mountain in Wales, why not take on the highest mountain in the United Kingdom? Towering at 1,344m (4409.5ft) above sea level, this notorious peak stands tall in the Western Highlands of Scotland. The Gaelic translation of this peak means “mountain with its head in the clouds” thanks to the iconic mist that shrouds this wonder.
Ben Nevis is a peak from ancient lands and the remnants of an active volcano. The mass exploded and collapsed inwards on itself some millions of years ago. As you stand on the summit you’ll see evidence of this explosion in the form of light-coloured granite.
At Maximum Adventure, we provide a guided ascent of Ben Nevis, following the Pony Track. We want you to be able to say you’ve “bagged the Ben”.
Adventure challenge #3: Irish 3 peaks
Distance: 25 miles (40km)
Ascent: 2500m (8202ft)
By this point, you’ve got used to hiking up mountains. You’ve conquered the highest mountain in Wales and the UK – I think congratulations are in order.🎉
Next, how do you feel about taking on three peaks together?
The Irish 3 peaks challenge conquers Brandon Peak on the Dingle Peninsula (952m/3123ft), Lugnaquilla (925m/3034) and Carrauntoohil (1038m/3405ft). Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland. A large metal cross, 5m tall, stands on the peak’s top.
Taking on the 3 peaks of Ireland gives you a good excuse to travel overseas and explore this beautiful part of the UK. It also introduces you to the concept of walking expeditions. Expeditions bring a whole new sense of adventure. Escape the humdrum of modern life for days, travel through nature, and explore new landscapes.
Adventure challenge #4: Ben Nevis winter
Distance: 11 miles(18km)
Ascent: 1,329m (4,359ft)
Hiking Snowdon, Ben Nevis, and conquering the Irish 3 peaks in the summer will give you an excellent introduction to mountain walking. At this point, you must be ready for your next challenge.
Attaining the highest peak in the UK in winter is a harder undertaking than the sister summer challenge. The elements are against you for one. The average winter temperature on the top of the Ben is around -5°C, but the wind chill can bring the temperature down into the minus twenties.
Secondly, you’ll have to get accustomed to using ice axes and crampon tools. These will keep you safe when walking on slippery, icy surfaces. For this reason, Maximum Adventure’s winter ascent of Ben Nevis trip gives you one day to learn the skills you need for winter mountain walking. On the second day you can practice these new found skills to conquer the Ben in winter.
Adventure challenge #5: Yorkshire 3 peaks
Distance: 24 miles (37km)
Ascent: 1381m (4531ft)
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is one of the best-known challenges in the United Kingdom. The route starts at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and from there you climb the highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales; Pen-y-Ghent (694m/2276ft), Whernside (736m/2414ft) and Ingleborough (723m/2372ft). This challenge aims to complete these three peaks in 12 hours. A tall aim, but with the experience you’ve now acquired, this is a challenge you can conquer with no problems.
The Yorkshire 3 peaks will introduce you to the Yorkshire Dales, a stunning area in the United Kingdom. These rolling hills have many moods, from wild and windswept horizons to quietly tranquil valleys full of hay meadows, drystone walls and barns.
Adventure challenge #6: National three peaks challenge
Distance: 24 miles (37km)
Ascent: 1,381m (4,531ft)
The national 3 peaks challenge is a long-distance walking adventure where participants attempt to climb the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in less than 24 hours. To name these mountains, they are Ben Nevis at 1,345m (4412ft), Scafell Pike at 978m (3208ft) and Snowdon at 1,085m (3559ft).
The national three peaks challenge is a tough event. You not only need to be fit, but you also need to have experience mountain walking. But guess what? At this point, you have both!
The aim is to complete this challenge in 24 hours, meaning you need to complete Ben Nevis in 5½ hours, Scafell Pike in 4½ hours and Snowdon in 4 hours.
For those who are hesitant about completing the challenge in 24 hours, it’s also possible to sign up for a 3 day 3 peak challenge. Many clients enjoy this more, as the event offers the perfect balance between challenge, adventure and enjoyment.
You can even opt-in for a 5 day 3 peaks challenge, to take the time to truly experience your surroundings and the beautiful landscapes engulfing these infamous peaks.
Adventure challenge #7: West Highland Way
Distance: 153km (96 miles)
Ascent: 4,312m (12,143ft)
Right, you’ve achieved two 3-day expeditions in the mountains, why not give long-distance walking a try?
If you read our post An Introduction to Our 12 Best Long Distance Walks UK you’ll know that long-distance walking brings an epic adventure. And by now, you’re well set to take on the challenge. The UK is jam-packed with long-distance walking routes for people of all abilities. And Maximum Adventure has a host of self-guided tours to choose from.
The West Highland Way is one of our favourites. This iconic route is often deemed to be Scotland’s best known long-distance walk. When walking the WHW you’ll travel through the wild expanse of Rannoch Moor, the immense and majestic Glen Coe valley, and the picturesque tranquillity of Lochness. Once more, this will be your first self-guided adventure, adding that next level of difficulty.
Adventure challenge #8: Mont Blanc
Distnace: It takes up to 20 hours of walking to reach the summit of Mont Blanc.
Ascent: Mont Blanc is 4,809m (15778ft) in height.
By now, we believe you’re ready for the next level of adventure – tackling peaks that are over 4,000m. With this elevation, your biggest challenge is adapting to altitude. Above 4000m illness and decreased performance is highly likely to occur, meaning part of your Mont Blanc adventure would involve training at altitude to allow your body to adapt to these low-oxygen conditions. At Maximum Adventure, we and our professional, experienced, highly qualified guides will help you do this safely.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, making it an awesome peak in a huge expanse of mountainous glory. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the top of the world, or on a different planet, as you gaze across the Alpine range – you can even see the Matterhorn on a clear day!
By booking your Mont Blanc guided ascent with Maximum Adventure you’ll learn basic crampon, rope and ice-axe techniques. Before your Mont Blanc ascent, you’ll complete training routes on the surrounding smaller peaks giving your body time to adapt to altitude.
Adventure challenge #9: Climb Kilimanjaro
Distance: 37 miles (42km)
Ascent: 4,891m (16,044ft)
We know you’ve got the taste for 4000m plus peaks by now, meaning we had to throw one in for your next challenge…which is to climb Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain. It has three volcanic cones (Kibo, Mawenzi and Shire). The peak stand ~4,900, (16,100ft) from its base, and 5,895m (19,341ft) above sea level. The dormant volcano covers an area that’s 100 metres long and 65 metres wide, making it the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.
There are three ways up Kilimanjaro: the Machame route, the Rongai route and the Lemosho route.
The Machame route has the advantage of spending some time in the stunning rainforest, before leading up to a moorland-like plateau. This is the most popular and scenic route, despite its steepness.
The Rongai route is the road less travelled as it isn’t as scenic as the other popular routes. The Rongai route gives a slow, gradual climb with no steep ascents.
The Lemosho route is one of the longest, newest and most scenic routes, presenting panoramic views.
Adventure challenge #10: Everest base camp
Distance: 80 miles (130km)
Ascent: 5364.5m (17,600ft)
Everest base camp. The grand finale of our adventure challenge tick list. From here you’ll be able to look up at the tallest mountain in the world, one that stands 8,848m (29,029ft) above sea level.
Everest is known locally as Sagarmatha in Nepalese and Chomolungma in Tibetan. The mountain separates Nepal and China, and it is flanked by mountains named Lhotse and Nuptse, forming a breath-taking horseshoe of the world’s highest peaks.
Reaching Everest base camp is a great feat in itself. The base camp stands at 5,545m (18,192ft) meaning you’ll be standing higher than you’ve ever stood before (discounting your flight to everest).
When you book your guided Everest base camp challenge with Maximum Adventure, our top mountain professionals will lead you over 12 weeks to the camp. We’ll be working with you, allowing you to acclimatise slowly to the high altitude, giving you the best chance of fully experiencing and enjoying the trek.
Expand your comfort zone with adventure and challenge at Maximum Adventure
At Maximum Adventure we’re proud to be your guide and help you expand your comfort zone and experience adventures of a lifetime. When you book your adventure we’ll work with you to help you reach your aims safely.
Whether you’re conquering Snowdon or trekking high into the Himalayas, we’ve developed our guided and self-guided trips because we believe everyone should be able to access the outdoors safely. We want you to gain the skills you need to have an adventure and set yourself challenges, to grow personally and to appreciate our natural world safely.
Here’s to nature, the outdoors and adventure. ⛰️