FKT: Glyn Price - Welsh Three Peaks Challenge - 2024-01-05

Route variation
Entire route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3d 3h 43m 20s

Too cut a long story short:

After completing the record time for the National Three Peaks (Self Supported) back in the summer I had been itching to take on the Welsh Three Peaks Solo - And hopefully get the record for this!!

Having hiked each of the mountains (Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen Y Fan) many times and knowing the roads in between them and the incline whilst travelling throughout I was not taking this for granted.

I travelled up with my wife and kids from our home in South Wales to North Wales to spend a couple of family days leading up and New Years Eve night in Snowdonia. The plan was to start my challenge of completing the Welsh 3 Peaks by foot (self-supported) New Years day but due to Storm Henk I was forced to delay by one day. Many would say why attempt this challenge let alone a record attempt in the winter and my answer is quite simple (I wanted to make this a real test of endurance both physically and mentally seeing learning what I was capable of achieving)!!! As with all these crazy challenges they are mostly about discovering yourself!! I love these self- supported challenges, it's just you, alone, braving the elements and surviving for yourself.

On Tuesday 2nd of January 2024 at 3.30pm after a couple of technical issues (not ideal before a challenge of this nature, but a long story in itself) my wife and kids waved me off at the base of Snowdon (Pen Y Pass car park). I originally planned to take the Pyg Track up and Range Track down). Storm Henk was still battering the area and winds were predicted to be over 45mph, any person with common sense would say if you were going up in that weather then a safer route like the Llanberis track would be wiser. But I trusted in my capabilities and proceeded, and in true nature Snowdon gave me some of the worst weather you can expect at this time of the year (but I would be lying if I said I did not get a buzz off this type of weather lol).

Having got off Snowdon I proceeded hiking through the night and following day arriving to start the trail up from Dolgellau (Ty Nant) to the summit of Cadair Idris then down the Minffordd path down where I slept for too much time on a very comfortable toilet floor lol. Yes my body was shutting down and just needed rest, unfortunately I did not set an alarm and it was not until 6am ish I was back on the road hiking towards Brecon to take on Pen Y Fan). 

I was now starting to look at my pace and where I needed to raise the tempo to achieve the record. I was pushing really hard all day and into the evening where I arrived in Llanlidloes (Red Lion Pub) where I planned to have dinner before starting back out on the evening leg. On entering the pub I recognised a face I had not seen for years (an old friend who was the chef)....needless to say I was well looked after and was treated to a double portion of braised steak, mash and veg. After dinner I was back on the road knowing time was a valuable commodity if I was to break the record. However, by midnight my body was flagging and needing to stop (even though I could see the record slipping away) however, in the middle of nowhere this would be hard to find. That said I found an old farmers barn with hay storage which provided me some respite from the cold and windy weather elements.  In true fashion and knowing my body is like a duracell battery after a few hours I was recharged physically and mentally ready to take on this challenge and give this record attempt everything I had!!! 

Arriving at Builth Wells in the morning I was knowing that the record attempt was now in a fine balance and really starting to calculate what I needed to do to get the time I needed (and work out what more my flagging body could give). The challenge of beating the current record by Isaac Kenyon of 3days and 4hrs and 45 minutes was a record that was proving formidable to beat!!! Fair play to Isaac!!!

The Gods were looking down on me with mild temperatures, sunny day and low winds (a far cry from what I had endured previously on this challenge with storm Henk). I was able to pick the pace up in sections but did not want to offload to soon knowing that it was going to go to the wire and that if I push my body too much it might fail and then the whole challenge would be in vien and everything lost so close to home!!

I arrived at Brecon with 5 miles to the summit of Pen Y Fan (taking the old military route up taking the mountain head on over the ridge) and just over 5 hrs to to complete this plus the decent back to Pont Ar Daf car park (the end). It was the yomp out of Brecon up to the base of the mountain where I became possessed by a demon spirit (all the training previously kicked in) and this is where I believe the record fell into my hands. I kept finding more and having a relived sensation on top of Pen y Fan (and a quick live Facebook feed) I realised I now needed to get down safely. The decent was hard on my knees having to give it all up to this point but I was so happy to see my wife and daughter waiting to see me at the end!!!!! 

The official time was 3days 3hrs 43mins and 20 seconds (75h:43:20s). Only beating the previous record by minutes shows how hard this challenge was. Also on the plus side I managed to raise much needed funds for Woodfield Animal Rescue centre off the back of this challenge (big thanks to all that supported me in doing this!!!).

How does this compare to the National Three Peaks,  well it is different!! No one is harder than the other as in the National you get more periods of rest and elevation on roads gives you time to recover however, that said it is much longer!! But the Welsh Three Peaks is a short fast test of your endurance that will test all your body physically and mentally to the max!!!!

Will I do these 2 challenges again by foot? NO!! Being able to say I once held these records together in the space of a year and all the memories to boot is enough for me lol!!

If anyone wants any advice should they be crazy enough to do these challenges or to listen to any boring stories I am happy for you to reach out to me (facebook messenger is best)!!!

Thank You,