Gold Ultra Challenge: 100km
Featuring extra ascent (3300m in total), the 100km Gold Ultra route is the ultimate Peak District Challenge, and should be attempted by teams of fit and experienced trekkers or runners who want to see the best that the Peak District has to offer. You’ll visit high points and viewpoints on your way between checkpoints, and there is a lot of climbing involved. If you fall behind on the Gold challenge, you could switch to the 75km Silver route, which follows the shortest, flattest distance between checkpoints. To be successful, you’ll need to average over 4kph to complete the Gold Challenge inside your 24 hour target.
The route: Detailed route information is be provided to entrants seven days before the event, but a broad overview of the provisional route is below. You’ll visit high points and viewpoints on your way between checkpoints, and there is a lot of climbing involved. You’ll leave Hathersage at 9pm on the night of Friday 21 September 2018. Night navigation experience is essential.
Your challenge begins with a walk up on to the Dark Peak moors. You will cross Stanage edge, site of Robin Hood’s cave, and Moscar Cross Road to reach and start your climb over Derwent Moors. Next it’s a descent to Ladybower Valley and an easy flat section around Ladybower reservoirs where the Dambusters trained for their bombing missions in WWII.
As dawn breaks, you will climb to the geological oddity of Alport Castle, before descending to a section of well-made tracks round to popular Castleton.
Turning back north, you’ll ascend to Hollins cross and continue to the head of the Vale of Edale and the next climb to Jacobs Ladder and stunning views over Hayfield. You are given a short break in navigational difficulty as tracks and lanes lead to Peak Forest in the white Peak and the valley nature reserve at Hay Dale. Your map will come out again as a mixture of paths and tracks lead between a string of pretty villages in the undulating limestone landscape, finally leading to Calver on the river Derwent.
The final section of the challenge takes you past popular climbing venues on the eastern gristone edges above Curbar, Froggatt and Burbage. Your challenge draws to a close with dusky views over the river Derwent and a final climb over Owler Tor before the final grassy slope down home to Hathersage.
Will you make it inside the 24 hour target?