Technically, there’s nothing stopping you from climbing the Three Peaks during the winter, but a lot of people will avoid it for some obvious reasons: the biting cold, slippery surfaces and heavy snow or wind can ruin a great day out, or even make it dangerous.
However, winter is one of the best seasons to go hiking on the North Yorkshire Three Peaks if you like your hiking trips to be meditative and quiet. If you’re going hiking in winter, you need to remember to bring a lot of stuff with you, starting with:
Most hikers know to wear strong hiking boots and pack some extra layers, but hiking in winter requires more than that. You need to bring clothes that insulate you, and protect you from icy cold water. Waterproof boots are a must: you’ll be walking through a lot of puddles, streams and mud, and wet, cold feet can lead to conditions like chilblains, frostbite or trench foot.
Protecting yourself from the cold with multi-layered clothes, gloves and scarfs is recommended, particular as it’ll only get colder the higher you go on the North Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Food and Drink
This one should be obvious. Every hiker that knows their stuff will carry a flask with them, filled with their hot drink of choice. Carry some biscuits with you and you’ll satisfy three essential aspects of hiking: keeping warm, satiated and hydrated. Make sure you let your drinks cool down to a comfortable level before taking a sip, as the cold winter air will make your mouth more sensitive to the heat.
The Warning Signs of Hypothermia
While it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll develop hypothermia on the North Yorkshire Three Peaks in Britain’s mild winters, you should always know the warning signs, as it won’t be immediately obvious to you or your group. Mild hypothermia usually means shivering, clumsiness and poor dexterity, combined with psychological effects like confusion, becoming quick to anger and argumentative.
It’s the psychological aspects of hypothermia that prove to be especially dangerous, as it affects your decision-making skills and your ability to cooperate with your group. If someone you’re hiking with isn’t acting their usual self, you may need to slow down and make sure they heat up, as hypothermia is a serious condition that can kill if left untreated. Hot drinks, sharing body heat and taking off wet layers of clothing can be used to treat mild to moderate hypothermia, but you should call emergency services if the person isn’t responding.
We all take risks when we go hiking, and while things like hypothermia can seem frightening, it’s easier to stay warm by wearing the right clothes and bringing hot drinks with you. North Yorkshire 3 Peaks is dedicated to providing excellent guided tours of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the surrounding moorland. There’s also the North Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge: all 3 peaks climbed in 12 hours, around 24 miles of undulating paths and beautiful scenery.