Jayne Rowe: Challenge needs new guidelines for safety's sake

I TOOK part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the Neurofibromatosis Association. It was a great experience, but I do agree that new guidelines need drawn up.

It was great fun, and we did feel as though we were doing some good. It was also an opportunity to climb some mountains, but it did seem to me that the numbers involved were far too high. There were coachloads of us, 600 or more people all doing the challenge at the same time.

I particularly felt this at Scafell Pike. The lane used to access the start of the climb is so small and, with all the buses pulling up, it did feel as though it could only have had an adverse impact on the local area.

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At the time, I felt it was quite dangerous having all those people climbing up to the summit. There is a lot of scree at the top and – with everyone trying to dodge each other and avoid all the walking poles – it became quite tricky.

With so many climbing the mountain at the same time, lots of scree was pushed down, creating an additional hazard.

Another issue was the litter. The organisers tried their best to limit this, and most folk were pretty mindful. At the start of each walk there were facilities to throw stuff away, but obviously there was litter left, just because of the number taking part.

There were three of us participating, and we all felt there were far too many people at Scafell Pike. So I agree that new guidelines are needed, particularly since the Three Peaks Challenge, and similar charity events, have become a lot more popular in recent years.

If I did it again, I would choose to do it as part of a small, independent group. I think that would be the case with any fundraising event. I'd prefer to go with a small, local group.

• Jayne Rowe, 38, works for the Social Enterprise Academy in Edinburgh.