Guides have already collected bags of rubbish from Ben Nevis

Guides have already collected bags of rubbish from Ben Nevis

Organisers of a clean-up event are urging keen hillwalkers to make the effort next month.

The Real 3 Peaks Challenge takes place on the three highest mountains in Scotland, Wales and England, in a bid to clean up the summits.

Thousands of visitors leave their own small mountains of rubbish on Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, and the challenge participants will be bagging items including bottles, cans, foil, tissues, plastic bags, banana skins and orange peel.

Rich Pyne, who is helping arrange the Ben Nevis clean-up, said memorials, plaques and urns will also be taken off the mountain and handed over to the John Muir Trust, which owns most of the mountain’s summit, to be put in an archive.

He added that local leaders and guides have been clearing rubbish throughout the summer, and have collected 17 bags of litter so far.

He said: “[They] have done a wonderful job, so I believe that the route may be cleaner than last year. But we are starting to know where to look, so the haul may be similar, we’ll see.”

Mr Pyne added that participants in the Real 3 Peaks Challenge must be self-reliant in the mountain environment. “It gets pretty cold up there, so good clothing is essential,” he said. “It was snowing last year.”

The Three Peaks are the target for numerous charity challenges each year, with walkers aiming to ascend all the mountains in 24 hours. This adds to the litter problem for the peaks, which are popular in their own right as the highest mountains in their respective nations.

The Real 3 Peaks Challenge will take place on Saturday 10 October. The Scottish leg will start at 8am at the Glen Nevis visitor centre. Anyone wishing to participate should email Mr Pyne. Similarly, volunteers for the other two peaks should email the Snowdon organiser or the Scafell Pike organiser.

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