Large Outdoors FAQs: Particularly useful when you’re looking at joining us for the first time as you are likely to have several questions about the trips.
How we grade our walks?
Everyone has a different perception of what is a hard or long walk.. Here at Large Outdoors we tend to define our walks into the five categories below.
Please note that these categories are only rough guidelines and due to the nature of walks and the varied terrain across the UK are only used as a guideline. These grades are based on the terrain under foot.
If you have any doubt about the event you are attending then please contact the Large Outdoors office.
Level 1 – Easy Terrain:
These walks are mainly along easy to navigate paths and tracks. There may be small obstacles such as gates and stiles and the route could involve crossing open farmland or heathland. However the terrain should be easy under foot and suitable for trainers or walking boots (good condition and good tread).
On occasions you may encounter some short steep uphill or downhill sections depending on your location. Please note that if you wear trainers they are not likely to be waterproof, so depending on the route and the weather, you may get wet feet by the end of the walk. Mud is likely to feature on this walk.
Level 2 – Moderate Terrain:
Although more challenging than our Easy walks, these are suitable for most people. Often but not always using well marked routes and footpaths. However, depending on your location (i.e Snowdonia or the Lake District) you may be expected to walk off the path and up or down steep sections of hillside.
Typically you will be crossing fields or open moorland and mountainous terrain, the ground maybe muddy and slippery underfoot. There could be stiles, small obstructions and possibly short scrambles all of which are achievable with care. Sturdy suitable footwear is highly recommended for this level; if in doubt please contact the Large Outdoors office for advice.
Level 3 – Hard Terrain:
These walks are very similar to our moderate walks however they are a often a bit more difficult due to the terrain encountered, distance covered or the amount of ascent. With occasional scrambles and rarely on footpaths, you will likely be walking across open moorland, through heather and scrub.
These walks are often at heights in excess of 750m where the weather can change quickly. Walking boots are essential along with suitable mountain clothing.
Level 4 – Challenge Walks:
As the title suggests, these walks are going to be a tougher proposition, with most being over 10 miles and often involving a summit such as Snowdon or Ben Nevis. However, they often follow easy to navigate and well marked routes. Their difficulty is due to the distance travelled rather than any specific technical or difficult terrain. It is essential that you have well fitted and sturdy footwear.
Level 5 – Hard Mountain Walks:
These more specialist walks will involve very difficult terrain on an open mountainside, not on designated tracks or footpaths. They may include periods of scrambling, and are likely to reach heights over 750m. In some cases specialist equipment will be needed, and you must have had recent mountain experience to take part. All winter mountaineering events where an ice axe and crampons are needed fall into this category.
A Few things to note:
1). Walking a mile in the mountains such as Snowdonia or the Lake District will feel a lot further than walking a mile on the flat. If you are used to walking long distances on the flat you should still consider your ability to walk the same distance in the mountains. The very nature of which mean you are likely to be walking on steep, rocky and difficult terrain.
2). All walk routes and events are subject to change at the last minute or even whilst you are on the walk. If for example the weather deteriates or the group ability is such that the walk leader feels the walk cannot be completed in the allotted time. Although rare this may mean you have to cross difficult terrain whilst we take you the quickest and safest route off the mountains.
3). The weather can affect the terrain under foot and it is essential that you check the weather forecast on the day and wear appropriate clothing. We recommend that you check out a specific mountain weather service such The Met Office Mountain Weather Forecast.
If you have any doubts or questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with the office or speak to your event leader on the day.
Do I have to become a member?
Large Outdoors offers a free membership scheme, you will be signed up when you attend your first trip or by completing the form at the bottom of each page.
How does our deposit scheme work?
You can reserve a place on the majority of our trips that include accommodation by paying a 50% deposit.
Once a deposit has been made, the full balance is due no later than twelve weeks before the event. The deposit is non-refundable and failure to pay the balance by this point will mean we can sell-on your place.
You can access a full list of all your events that require payment from the “Your Account” section of the Large Outdoors website. You can then simply select the event you wish to pay in-full or in-part if you would like to spread the cost.
If you reserved a place on an event with an outstanding balance, we will automatically email you once a month to remind you. If your event is in the next 12 weeks you should use the link in the email to confirm payment for the full outstanding balance.
If your event is more than eight weeks away you can:
- Ignore the notification until nearer the balance due date.
- Make a partial payment if you’re staggering paying off the balance.
- Pay the balance in-full
I would prefer not to use online payments - how else can I pay?
Although online payments through our Sage Pay account are secure you may prefer to pay via an alternative method. We can accept payment via cheque or BACS.
Please note that your place on an event will not be secured until your payment has been recieved in full and in the case of cheques cleared in our accounts.
How to pay for your trip by BACS
You can indeed pay for any event or activity via BACS. Please note that your place is not reserved until payment has been recieved and this can lead to a delay our spaces no longer being available.
To pay by BACS:
To pay by BACS please use the details below to make the payment and drop a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. Please include in the email your contact details.
Acc Name: Large Outdoors Ltd
Acc No: 8315 1654
Sort Code: 20 55 34
How to pay for your trip by cheque
You can indeed pay for any event or activity via Cheque. Please note that your place is not reserved until payment has been recieved and cleared into our account. This can lead to a delay our spaces no longer being available.
To pay by Cheque:
Please send your cheque made payable to “Large Outdoors Ltd” to Large Outdoors Ltd, 58 Market Place, Malton Yo17 7LW.
Please include a letter with your name, contact details plus the date and name of the event you wish to attend.
Where do we meet and what happens at registration?
The meeting points can vary depending on the time of year you are undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.
We will send you details of your meeting point in your ‘Challenge Day Information’ email sent the week prior to your challenge.
Your guides will be on-site to conduct registration from 6.30am.
1 Acknowledgement of Risk Forms
At registration you will be given an Acknowledgment of Risk Form which is important to read.
It also lists any ‘illnesses and injuries’ you have informed us about when you booked the event. Please make sure you review the information you have given us and update if necessary. Then sign and date the bottom of the form.
On the reverse of the form you will have the required kit list. Please check this and sign to acknowledge you have all the required kit.
If you have any kit missing you will need to discuss this with your guide as they will need to decide whether you can participate in the challenge or not.
Take your Acknowledgment of Risk form to your guide who will register you as attending the event. They will ask you for the following information:
Mobile phone number.
Car registration, or name and contact number of your accommodation provider if you haven’t driven.
You will be given an event tag that should be attached to the front of your rucksack.
3 Challenge Briefing
After registration your guide will brief the group about the day’s challenge, and provide vital safety information.
Please make sure you are there for the briefing.
4 The start
The challenge will begin promptly after registration and post-briefing, so please ensure you are ready for the off.
Parking for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge:
Please meet outside the toilets in the main car park in the centre of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. It’s easy to find (postcode: BD24 0HE).
Are there toilets on the way?
There are public toilets in Horton, our most popular starting point for the challenge. Our top tip is to visit the facilities before going to registration as the group will move out straight after the briefing and registration.
En route, there are toilets after the completion of the 1st peak, Ingleborough at a farm shop and at a pub a short detour off the route after descending Whernside (the 2nd peak). For the latter, your guide will use their judgement as to whether there is sufficient time to make the detour to the pub’s toilet.
Please bear in mind we cannot guarantee that the farm shop or pub will be open on the day of the challenge, and you will need to purchase an item before using their facilities.
Are there water fills or cafés on the way?
No, there are no guaranteed water stops or cafés en route, so you will need to bring sufficient water (a minimum of 2 litres per person) and plenty of food.
If open, there is the farm shop after Ingleborough (the first hill) and a refreshment van parked in a layby after Whernside (the second hill), but there is no guarantee either will be open.
Bring some cash just in case.
Can we take longer than 12 hours?
Sorry, no this is a 12-hour challenge. Our guides will advise you of the pace required to complete the three peaks within this time.
There are a number of cut-off times and points that your guide will share with you on the day. If you miss these times then you will be unable to continue with the challenge as there are simply not enough daylight hours for you to safely complete the walk.
In this situation it is vital you have some money with you as the only way back to the start point is to either take a taxi or use the local train.
What if I can't finish?
Once underway, if you feel as though you are unable to complete the full circuit, it is essential to inform your guide as soon as possible so they can advise you of the options for leaving the challenge.
It is vital you have some money with you as the only way back to the start point is to either take a taxi or use the local train.
What pace do we walk at?
In general the group determines the pace on the day. This is a guided group so we walk together – for some this might be a slightly slower pace than usual while for others it might be a speedier pace.
Your guide will advise you of the pace required to complete the challenge by the 12-hour deadline. We have a number of cut-off times and points which your guides will inform you of in the morning. If you miss these times then you will be unable to continue with the challenge as there are simply not enough daylight hours for you to safely complete the walk.
Where can I stay?
Two alternatives here:
a.) Check out our Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge weekends that are fully catered and provide accommodation for both the Friday and Saturday night.
b.) There are plenty of local places to stay but here are our top 5 recommendations.
What if I get blisters?
Always remember that your guide is there to help you. If you experience any difficulties just let them know sooner rather than later and they will do what they can to help.
If you think you are getting a blister your guide will take a little time to make sure you get a plaster on it or try and help stop your boots rubbing.
Top tips: With blisters, the first defence is always a good pair of socks and trusted worn-in boots. The Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge is not the place to break-in new boots, so make sure you wear them on a number of your training walks before the big day.
As for socks, we high recommend Ice Breaker socks.
Should I use poles?
It’s always handy to carry poles even if you don’t usually walk with them. They attach easily to your ruck sack and can be very useful especially when coming downhill to help take the pressure off your knees.
For more tips on walking poles follow the link.
Why do I need to bring a mobile phone and cash?
You will need cash if you are parking in Horton at the start of the challenge, so small change may be handy.
Also, if they are open, there is a farm shop and a refreshment van that we pass en route, so if you do fancy a hot drink or using the farm shop loo again you will need cash, preferably coins, as both places can run out of change on busy days.
Mobile phones signals are intermittent, but sometimes can be picked up on the hills and in Horton.
Importantly, we record everyone’s mobile numbers. If, for any reason, you are unable to complete the challenge and need to make your own way back to Horton, we will ask you to text your guide so they know you have returned safely.
Can I leave the group and walk on my own?
We strongly recommend you walk with your guide and the group.
Our guides are qualified mountain leaders with lots of experience of mountain walking and leading challenges. They are there to guide you on the right route and help you complete the challenge.
If you decide to leave the group, our guides will assist you as much as they can. They will also advise you that you are withdrawing from the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge organised by Large Outdoors and will no longer fall under our responsibilities of care.
As good practice they will ask you to text/phone them on your return to Horton.
However we will not act as your ‘emergency base contact’ so you will need to notify a third party of the walk – location, distance estimated, return time etc – and request they contact the emergency services if you do not report in at the required time.